The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is
committed to making every document on its Website accessible to the
widest possible audience, including persons with visual disabilities.
The agency's new Website redesign strives to ensures NGA meets or
exceeds the requirements of Section 508 of the Workforce Investment Act
of 1998. Many of our pages now meet the standard but we are continually
working to make all pages accessible.
Section 508 requires that federal agencies' electronic and
information technology is accessible to people with disabilities,
including employees and members of the public. Section 508 establishes
requirements for any electronic and information technology developed,
maintained, procured, or used by the Federal government.
While the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) used to create Websites is
generally accessible for persons using screen reading devices, you need
to be careful in the construction of HTML documents to ensure maximum
accessibility. Essentially everything that you need to know about Web
page accessibility is found on the Website of the W3C Web Accessibility
Many of the documents on our Web server are in basic HTML format.
These formats are generally accessible to persons using screen reading
software. We also have a large number of documents as Adobe Acrobat PDF
(Portable Document Format) files. Persons using screen reading devices
generally cannot directly read documents in PDF format. Adobe Systems,
Inc., provides a free translation service through their Access Web pages
which will translate PDF files to Web pages (HTML documents). This can
be used in one of three ways:
- The user can go to the Access server and fill out a form. When this
form is submitted, the server will go get the PDF document, translate
it, and return it to the user.
- The user can send an email message to the Access server, giving the
address of the document to be translated. The server will then get this
document and translate it to either a Web page or a text (ASCII)
document. Note that this is the only one of the three options that also
gives the ability to produce a text document from the PDF file. (Click
here for Adobe Instructions)
- For systems which are not connected to the Internet, Adobe has a
free downloadable accessibility plug-in, called Adobe Access, for use
with the latest versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader for Microsoft
Windows 3.1, Windows 95/98, or Windows NT. This plug-in helps to
overcome some of the problems of reading PDF documents with screen
readers, but for systems with Internet access, Adobe recommends using
the on-line Access translation service instead.
These methods of making PDF files accessible are adequate for many
documents. However, they are not adequate for PDF documents in which
content is included in graphics files or for especially complex
formatting. In these cases, we provide an alternative format for use
with screen readers -- an HTML version -- where possible.
We have one general exception to our policy of making accessible
versions available for all PDF documents. We are using the Adobe Acrobat
PDF format as a means of distributing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
documents. These are electronic images of the forms which are intended
to be printed and used as any other paper form, and do not lend
themselves to any non-graphical representation.
Download Adobe Reader
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)