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Website Accessibility

The Smithsonian Institution wants its Web site to be accessible to the widest possible audience. We make every effort to be compliant with the Section 508 and W3C accessibility guidelines. At present, this website:

  • has descriptive text equivalents for all images and graphics
  • can be successfully read with screen readers
  • can be read and navigated with text-only browsers.
If you are a person with a disability and are experiencing difficulty accessing materials on our website you may contact (888) 783-0001 to request materials in alternate formats. If you have any questions regarding the website, please email the webmaster at


Internet Explorer and Netscape:

If you wish to change the size of the text, the font, or the background colors and/or graphics, both Netscape and Internet Explorer have controls that will allow these adjustments. Please see the Help menu on your browser for instructions.

Adobe Acrobat PDF Files:

PDF format is used to preserve the content and layout of our hard copy publications. People using screen-reading devices may read documents in PDF by downloading the standard Adobe Acrobat Reader, or if they have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Professional (or Standard).

Speech Enabled Web Access

Browsealoud Software Logo linking to Browsealoud

The Smithsonian uses the free Browsealoud program to enhance the accessibility of its web site. Browsealoud reads the words on any web page through their computer speakers. The program helps people who may find it difficult to read text online, those who may have literacy problems, or those with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. It is also a beneficial tool for those for whom English is a second language and may have trouble reading.

As users move their cursors over words on a web page, Browsealoud reads them aloud, highlighting the words as they are being spoken. Alternately, users can select a "continuous" option, which allows the entire contents of a web page to be read without using the mouse. Browsealoud can also be turned on and off with a click of the Ctrl key. Users can customize the voice, pitch, and speed of the reader to suit their needs.

Browsealoud resides in the system tray when it is enabled. The icon resembles a bullseye and will have a checkmark when a Smithsonian website is speech enabled.

Additional Information on Accessibility