The U.S. Department of Agriculture is committed to making its electronic and information technologies accessible to individuals with disabilities by meeting or exceeding the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d), as amended in 1998. Section 508 is a federal law that requires agencies to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to electronic information and data comparable to those who do not have disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency. The Section 508 standards are the technical requirements and criteria that are used to measure conformance within this law. More information on Section 508 and the technical standards can be found at www.section508.gov.
If you require assistance or wish to report an issue related to the accessibility of any content on this website, please email Section508@ocio.usda.gov. If applicable, please include the web address or URL and the specific problems you have encountered. You may also contact a representative from the USDA Section 508 Coordination Team.
There are a number of resources available that describe the elements of accessible Web pages as well as listings of companies that provide assistive computer technology including screen reading software.
Many of the documents on the USDA Web site are in HTML or ASCII (plain text) formats. These formats are generally accessible to people who use screen readers. We also have a large number of documents in Adobe Acrobat® Portable Document Format (PDF).
PDF format is used to preserve the content and layout of our hard copy publications. Publications in PDF can only be viewed and printed using the Adobe Acrobat Reader®, version 3.0 or higher. You can download and get help using the Acrobat Reader at the Adobe Systems, Inc. site. The downloadable Acrobat Reader software is available at NO CHARGE from Adobe.
People using screen-reading devices generally are unable to read documents directly in PDF format, unless they have an accessibility plug-in installed on their system along with the Adobe Acrobat Reader. This plug-in is available at NO CHARGE from Adobe. Adobe also has online tools that will convert PDF files to HTML on request. To get the plug-in and latest news about Adobe's accessibility tools and services, visit the Access Adobe site.
The USDA TARGET Center converts USDA information and documents into alternative formats, including Braille, large print, video description, diskette, and audiotape. For more information, visit the TARGET Center's Web site or call the Center at (202) 720-2600 (Voice/TTY).
You can view our online publications that are in Microsoft PowerPoint® (.ppt) format if you have any version of PowerPoint installed on your computer. For those who don't have the software, the Microsoft Corporation offers a FREE PowerPoint file viewer. You can download and get help using the PowerPoint viewer at the Microsoft Download Center.
You can view publications in Microsoft Word® (.doc) format if you have Word, version 6.0 or higher, installed on your computer. Word documents can also be viewed with many other word processing software programs. Additionally, Microsoft offers a FREE Word file viewer that you can download at its Microsoft Download Center.