The Law

Section 508 Part 1194.22 Subpart m states:
When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or other application be present on the client system to interpret page content, the page must provide a link to a plug-in or applet that complies with §1194.21(a) through (l).

What to Do

When a web page needs a plug-in or another application to view content within that page, there will be a link to download the plug-in on the web page. The link to the plug-in and content used on the web page will be accessible to assistive technologies and meet 508 standards 1194.21(a) through (l) software applications and operating systems.

Examples of media that requires plug-ins are Adobe Flash, PDFs, shockwave, Java applets, scripts, Office documents and other media players.


Informal Standard

There is an informal standard that helps users determine what file type is behind a link.

  • Example: download the form (PDF)

File types will be referred to as follows

  • Adobe Acrobat: (PDF)
  • Microsoft Word: (Word)
  • Microsoft Excel: (Excel)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint: (PowerPoint)
  • MP3: (MP3)
  • QuickTime movie: (QuickTime)
  • Windows Media file: (Windows Media)

All files 1.0 megabytes or larger will have their file size (in Mb) appended to the link (to warn and accomodate users with low bandwidth connections)

  • Example: Download the President's presentation (PowerPoint, 3.2 MB)

One decimal place is required in all cases: 4.7 MB, 3.0 MB

Link Locations

Other Resources

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Article ID: 43488
Mon 12/4/17 9:01 AM
Mon 7/6/20 2:50 PM