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Web Page and Document Accessibility Policy

Effective Date: 01/03/2011

This site is compliant with the 1998 Amendment to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

If you need more information

If you use a screen reader, have vision problems, or navigate using only the keyboard or an assistive device, please visit our instructions for using assistive technologies section for additional information. If your questions are not answered here, please email us.

About external websites

Some pages contain links to third-party sites that are not affiliated with the U.S. government. Those sites are not within our control and may not follow the same privacy, security, or accessibility standards as ours. We are not responsible for the content or availability of those sites, their partners, or advertisers.

Further resources

SSA does not endorse any software products. Links to common accessibility software appear below. Product names are linked to the web pages of the companies that produce the software. (Note: The web pages will open in new browser windows.)

Instructions for Using Assistive Technology

These instructions are for users who are blind or visually impaired, use assistive technology such as screen readers or screen magnifiers, or need additional help navigating the website.

Hints for Visitors with Low Vision

Making text larger

Page content can be difficult to read because the text is too small. Choose from the following web browsers for step-by-step instructions on how to increase the size of the text on any web page:

Magnifying the Screen

If enlarging the text is not enough to make the page easily readable, the next step is to magnify your screen.

Recent versions of Windows include magnification software, which allows a user to increase text size. But most visually impaired users find that they need a more sophisticated magnification software program:

Changing background and text colors

Some website users need more contrast between text and background colors on a website. Choose from the following web browsers for step-by-step instructions on how to change the background and text colors on any web page:

Hints for Using Screen Readers

The information below will help you navigate through web pages using a screen reader. Because there are several types of screen readers and web browsers, these instructions may or may not apply to your software.

General navigation

Fill out forms in a Forms or MSAA mode that allows you to tab to controls and fill in boxes, radio buttons, check boxes, and list boxes. Instructions usually appear at the beginning of these screens and can be accessed in non-MSAA or virtual-cursor mode. Instructional text usually occurs at the beginning of these screens and can be accessed in non-MSAA or virtual-cursor mode. Additionally, consistent headers have been set up to access questions and examples/instructions more easily. The screen reader will indicate which questions have additional help or instructional text. You can then tab to the additional help or continue tabbing to the next question to bypass this help.

Hotkeys or access keys

Keyboard commands, hotkeys, or access keys will vary based on your web browser. A list of these commands can be found in the Help section on the Menu bar of your browser. You also can review the Hints for Using Keyboard Navigation.

Saving or printing forms

You can save or print pages you may need later, such as instructions on how to do something.

IF you want to… THEN select…
Print a page CTRL+P (You also can print from the File menu.)
Save a page to a file CTRL+S (You also can save the page from the File menu.)

PDF documents

You need Adobe Reader to make PDF documents accessible. You can download Adobe Reader at http://get.adobe.com/reader/. (Note: The web page will open in a new browser window.)

Hints for Using Keyboard Navigation

The information in the charts below will help you navigate through web pages without a mouse. Some commands may not work with every Internet browser.

IF you want to… THEN select…
Move forward from link to link or to controls Tab
Move backward from link to link or to controls Shift + Tab
Select buttons Space Bar
Navigate and select radio buttons Arrow
Select/deselect boxes Spacebar
Move from box to box Tab
Open a List Box ALT + Down arrow (or OPTION + Down arrow on Macs)
Read the prior screen CTRL + Page Up (or CMD + Page Up on Macs)
Read the next screen CTRL + Page Down (or CMD + Page Down on Macs)
Go to the top of the page CTRL + Home (or CMD + Home on Macs)
Go to the bottom of the page CTRL + End (or CMD + End on Macs)
Close the current window (in Internet Explorer) CTRL + W (or CMD + W on Macs)
Refresh the screen F5
Go back a page ALT + Left Arrow (or ALT + Left Arrow on Macs)
Go forward a page ALT + Right Arrow (or ALT + Right Arrow on Macs)

Accessibility Hints for Internet Explorer 7

Change text size

Internet Explorer 7 has a zoom feature that allows you to enlarge the entire browser window. Press CTRL + + to increase the zoom and CTRL + - to decrease the zoom.

You also can change the text size. For many sites, you only need to do the following:

  • Open the Page menu with the mouse or press ALT + P.
  • Select the Text Size option with the mouse or press X.
  • Choose your preferred text size by clicking on it or by using the up and down arrow keys to select it, then press Enter.
  • The text on the website should now have changed to reflect your choice.

Some websites have a fixed text size. To change the text size on these sites, follow these steps:

  • Click on the Tools menu with the mouse or press ALT + T.
  • Select the Internet Options option with the mouse or press O. You should now see the Internet Options box.
  • Select the Accessibility button with the mouse or press ALT + E.
  • Click the checkbox labeled Ignore font sizes specified on web page or press ALT + Z.
  • Select the OK button or press Enter to return to the Internet Options box.
  • Click on the OK button or press Tab until OK is selected and then press Enter to return to Internet Explorer.

Change text and background colors

  • Open the Tools menu with the mouse or press ALT + T.
  • Select the Internet Options option with the mouse or by pressing O. You should now see the Internet Options box.
  • Select the Accessibility button with the mouse or press ALT + E.
  • Check the checkbox labeled Ignore colors specified on web page or press ALT + C.
  • Select the OK button or press Enter to return to the Internet Options box.

The website is now using the color scheme from your computer. If you are happy with the colors, click OK or press Enter to return to the browser. If you still need to change the colors, follow the following steps:

  • With the Internet Options box still open, click on the Colors button or press ALT + O.
  • Click the box to unselect Use Windows colors or press ALT + W.
  • To change text color:
    • Select the Text button or press ALT + T.
    • Select the color of your choice or use the arrow keys to highlight it and then press Spacebar to select.
    • Click the OK button or press Enter.
    • Repeat the process for visited ALT + I and unvisited ALT + N links if needed.
  • To change background color:
    • Select the Background button or press ALT + B.
    • Select the color of your choice or use the arrow keys to highlight it and then press Spacebar to select.
    • Click the OK button or press Enter.
  • When you have changed all the colors you want, click OK or press Enter to return to the Internet Options box.
  • Click the OK button or press Enter to return to Internet Explorer.

Accessibility Hints for Internet Explorer 5 or 6

Change text size

  • Open the View menu with the mouse or press ALT + V.
  • Select the Text Size option with the mouse or press X.
  • Choose your preferred text size by clicking on it or by using the up and down arrow keys to select it, then press Enter.
  • The text on the website should now have changed to reflect your choice.

Some websites have a fixed text size. To change the text size on these sites, follow these steps:

  • Click on the Tools menu with the mouse or press ALT + T.
  • Select the Internet Options option with the mouse or press O. You should now see the Internet Options box.
  • Select the Accessibility button with the mouse or press ALT + E.
  • Click the checkbox labeled Ignore font sizes specified on web page or press ALT + Z.
  • Select the OK button or press Enter to return to the Internet Options box.
  • Click on the OK button or press Tab until OK is selected and then press Enter to return to Internet Explorer.

Change text and background colors

  • Open the Tools menu with the mouse or press ALT + T.
  • Select the Internet Options option with the mouse or by pressing O. You should now see the Internet Options box.
  • Select the Accessibility button with the mouse or press ALT + E.
  • Check the checkbox labeled Ignore colors specified on web page or press ALT + C.
  • Select the OK button or press Enter to return to the Internet Options box.

The website is now using the color scheme from your computer. If you are happy with the colors, click OK or press Enter to return to the browser. If you still need to change the colors, follow the following steps:

  • With the Internet Options box still open, click on the Colors button or press ALT + O.
  • Click the box to unselect Use Windows colors or press ALT + W.
  • To change text color:
    • Select the Text button or press ALT + T.
    • Select the color of your choice or use the arrow keys to highlight it and then press Spacebar to select.
    • Click the OK button or press Enter.
    • Repeat the process for visited ALT + I and unvisited ALT + N links if needed.
  • To change background color:
    • Select the Background button or press ALT + B.
    • Select the color of your choice or use the arrow keys to highlight it and then press Spacebar to select.
    • Click the OK button or press Enter.
  • When you have changed all the colors you want, click OK or press Enter to return to the Internet Options box.
  • Click the OK button or press Enter to return to Internet Explorer.

Accessibility Hints for Firefox

Change text size

  • Open the View menu with the mouse or press ALT + V.
  • Select the Text Size option with the mouse or press Z.
  • Choose your preferred text size by clicking on it or by using the up and down arrow keys to select it, then press Enter.
  • The text on the website should now have changed to reflect your choice.

Alternatively, you can press CTRL + + to increase the text size, CTRL + - to decrease the text size, or CTRL + 0 to use the default "normal" size.

To set a minimum text size for all web pages, follow these steps:

  • Open the Tools menu with the mouse or press ALT + T.
  • Click on the Options option or press O.
  • Click the Content tab or use the arrow keys to highlight it.
  • In the Fonts & Colors box, click on Advanced or press ALT + D.
  • Click on the Minimum font size box or press ALT + O. Use the up and down arrows to select a new font size and press Enter.
  • Click on the OK button or press Enter to return to the Options option.
  • Click on the OK button or press Enter to return to Firefox.

Change text and background colors

To use your Windows color scheme settings in Firefox, follow these steps:

  • Open the Tools menu with the mouse or press ALT + T.
  • Click on the Options option or press O.
  • Click on the Content tab or use the arrow keys to highlight it.
  • In the Fonts & Colors box, click on Colors or press ALT + C.
  • Click on the checkbox labeled Use system colors or press ALT + S.
  • Click on the checkbox to unselect Allow pages to select their own colors, instead of my selections above or press ALT + A.
  • Click on the OK button or press Enter to return to the Options box.
  • Click on the OK button or press Enter to return to Firefox.

To set text and background colors just for Firefox, follow these steps:

  • Open the Tools menu with the mouse or press ALT + T.
  • Click on the Options option or press O.
  • Click on the Content tab or use the arrow keys to highlight it.
  • In the Fonts & Colors box, click on Colors or press ALT + C.
  • Click on the checkbox to unselect Use system colors or press ALT + S.
  • To change text color under the Text heading, click on the color you want to use or press ALT + T to jump to the color palette, use the cursor keys to highlight the color you want, and press Enter to select it.
  • To change background color under the Background heading, click on the color you want to use or press ALT + B to jump to the color palette, use the cursor keys to highlight the color you want, and press Enter to select it.
  • Click on the checkbox to unselect Allow pages to select their own colors, instead of my selections above or press ALT + A.
  • Click on the OK button or press Enter to return to the Options box.
  • Click on the OK button or press Enter to return to Firefox.
  • Click on the Reload current page button on the Navigation toolbar or press CTRL + R to reload the page with your color settings.

Disclaimer

The SSA BOND website contains links to certain websites that are not affiliated with the United States government. These may include State and Local governmental agencies, international agencies, and private entities.

SSA cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by such websites. If we provide a link to such a website, this does not constitute an endorsement by SSA or any of its employees of the information or products presented on the non-SSA website.

Also, such websites are not within our control and may not follow the same privacy, security or accessibility policies. Once you visit such a website, you are subject to the policies of that site.