USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services is committed to making its web sites accessible to all USDA customers and employees. All of the agency web sites are undergoing review and redesign as necessary to ensure that they meet or exceed the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Many of our web sites currently meet the Section 508 accessibility standards. Furthermore, USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services continues to work on making all web sites accessible. Thank you very much for your patience through this redesign process. If you have any comments or suggestions for improvement, please contact the webmaster.
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.
- Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards - Section 508 Final Rule
- Guidelines for Web Accessibility
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
- Assistive Computer Technology Listing
Adobe Acrobat PDF Files
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 AcrobatReader®, 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.
Requesting Alternative Formats
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).
PowerPoint and Word Files
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.