uspto.gov
Skip over navigation

Section 508 Reference Guide 1194.21 Software Application and Operating System Standards, In Other Words

1194.21(a) Keyboard input / text output: At a minimum, every feature of an application must be available using the keyboard. (For example, you cannot have a print function that can only be accessed with a mouse.) The feature itself or the result of the feature must provide text feedback.

1194.21(b) Accept accessibility features: Systems or applications must not disrupt or disable documented accessibility features of software products or operating systems.

1194.21(c) Expose input focus: The point of action (e.g., cursor) is easy to find and is programmatically exposed to AT so that AT can track focus and focus changes.

1194.21(d) Provide interface information: All visually available (on screen) information in a product must be available to AT. Images, graphs, icons and forms must have descriptive information conveyed in a text format such as a text label, ALT tag or "tool tip".

1194.21(e) Use images consistently: An image's use must be consistent throughout a product. Alternative text (e.g., tool tip, ALT text) should also adhere to this standard.

1194.21(f) Provide textual information: Text information from a product must be available to AT. This is accomplished by interfacing with operating system functions for displaying text (e.g., APIs that accept text content and attributes).

1194.21(g) Accept display attributes: A product must be able to conform to the user's operating system display settings. A product cannot use its own color and contrast settings, unless it complies with 1194.21(j).

1194.21(h) Provide non-animated mode: If animation is used in a product, the user must be able to select at least one non-animated mode to display the animation's information (e.g., audio or text description).

1194.21(i) Supplement color coding: Color should never be the only means to identify functions, visual elements or information.

1194.21(j) Providing color selections: A variety of color selections and contrast levels should be provided when an application allows the user to change contrast or color settings. If the product does not feature adjustable color or contrast settings, then the standard does not apply. In either case, the product must conform to 1194.21(g) regarding system display settings.

1194.21(k) Avoid fast flashing/blinking: Design software products so that blinking on the screen is nonexistent, or very slow (e.g., one blink per second), or very fast (at least fifty-five blinks per second).

1194.21(l) Providing electronic forms: Electronic forms in products must be accessible to AT. This includes the fields in the form, all information required to complete the form, and any functions used to submit the form.

United States Patent and Trademark Office
This page is owned by Office of the Chief Information Officer.
Last Modified: 5/21/2012 10:31:59 AM