You are here: Help Authoring Basics > Help Targets in Doc-To-Help > NetHelp Target > Section 508 Compliant NetHelp

Section 508 Compliant NetHelp

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was amended by Congress in 1998 to require Federal agencies to make electronic and information technology accessible to Federal employees and members of the public who are seeking information from a Federal agency and have visual, auditory, motor, or other disabilities. Section 508 states that people with disabilities should have the same access to and use of information as someone without disabilities.

Doc-To-Help provides a special Accessibility property to help you create Section 508 compliant NetHelp. Setting the Accessibility property to Section 508 Compliance enables the following features:

      All links generated by Doc-To-Help have title strings, which indicate the link type, and appear as tooltips that are read by accessibility devices. The default title strings are: link, popup, expanding text, and dropdown text. These strings can be changed in the Theme Designer using the Hot spot titles commands in the Accessibility node.

      Icons in the table of contents have titles, their text equivalents, indicating whether the item is a book or a topic. If the DynamicTOC property of the NetHelp target is set to True and, therefore, the icon is a book, this title indicates whether it is open or closed. The strings can be changed in the Theme Designer using the Text equivalents for images commands under the Accessibility node.

      Pop-up links become jump links to allow easier accessibility. For the same reason, margin notes and glossary term links, which usually appear as pop-up windows in normal mode, are not shown as pop-ups but as normal HTML pages in the main frame.

      Inline pop-up text is shown as inline, or expanding, text rather appearing in a pop-up box.

      The menu normally displayed when a user clicks a group or keyword link or a keyword in the index that has multiple destinations, or target topics, does not appear. Instead, the destinations are shown in the main frame as a normal HTML page. By default, the heading of this page is "N topics found", where N is the number of topics having the specified group or keyword associated with it. The heading can be changed in the Theme Designer using the Other strings commands under the Accessibility node. Specify the text under Keyword/group link found multiple topics.

When the Accessibility property is set to Normal, the section 508 compliance features are disabled.

Regardless of the value of the Accessibility property, all links and buttons in NetHelp themes are accessible from the keyboard using the Tab key. Additionally, when the DynamicTOC property is set to True and a target is built, the user can expand and collapse books in the table of contents using the Num +/- buttons on the keyboard.

Each frame of a NetHelp theme also has a title string that can be read by accessibility devices, even when Accessibility is set to Normal. By default, the title strings match the frame titles. These strings can be changed in the Theme Designer using the Other strings commands in the Accessibility node. The default strings are: Topic navigation, Top topic navigation, Bottom topic navigation, Navigation panes, Topic text, Index lookup pane, Index list, Search lookup pane and Search result list.

For additional information on Section 508, visit


Accessibility in HTML Source Documents

Accessibility in Word Source Documents

Creating Section 508 Compliant NetHelp