Benefits Services Site Help and Accessibility Information

Accessibility Statement

We are committed to ensuring that our Web site is accessible to everyone. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding the accessibility of this site, please email, as we are continually striving to improve the experience for all visitors.

Standards Compliance

  1. All pages on this Web site are valid HTML5.
  2. All pages on this Web site comply with Federal Section 508 Guidelines.
  3. All pages on this Web site will conform to Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 at as of January 1, 2011. Web content technologies that this Web site relies upon are: XHTML and PDF. Web content technologies which are used but not relied upon include: CSS, Javascript, Flash, and RSS.
  4. This Web site complies with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Web Accessibility Policy.

Structural Markup

All pages on this Web site use structured semantic markup. An H1 tag marks the main title of the page, and H2 tags mark sections thereof with subsections marked by lower header levels.

Pages are separated into four different areas:

  1. A header region, which includes global University of Wisconsin navigation.
  2. A "side bar", which includes accessibility controls, site search, and site navigation items.
  3. The main content area.
  4. A footer, including links to contact the Webmaster and to this page.

When a page is viewed without CSS, the page will be read in the above order.


All images on this Web site, aside from purely decorative images, have suitable alt-text applied to them. All content is usable without images displayed.


The first link in every document is a "Skip to Content" link which will allow users who utilize a screen reader or keyboard to bypass the repeated navigation items in the header and side bar regions and go directly to the main content area of the page. The text of links is written to make sense in the immediate context of the link.


All pages are completely usable without Javascript support.

Pop-up Windows

No pop-up windows are opened by this site, except when the target document is not an HTML Web page. For example, PDF, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel documents will open in a new window by default.

Visual Design

The colors used in this Web site provide appropriate contrast for colorblind and low-vision users. Although pages in this Web site use CSS for visual layout, all pages are displayed in proper reading order without CSS. This site uses only relative font sizes, which allow users to resize text through either the font size controls in the "side bar" area or through their Web browser. When a specific section of a page is linked to, that section or section heading will receive a brief highlight in order to draw attention to it. Animated content was tested using the Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool (PEAT), provided by the UW-Madison Trace Research & Development Center, to ensure that it is below the general flash and red flash thresholds and does not present a seizure risk.

Keyboard Input

All content on this Web site is accessible using a keyboard only. All pages have a logical tab order, and pages featuring interactive content provide keyboard shortcuts to operate that content. These shortcuts are listed in the following sections that describe the interactive interfaces. An element receiving focus is indicated by a visual change in that element, such as a red background or border, or by underlining the text of that element.


Many pages on this Web site utilize a tabbed panel interface, in which one block of information or panel is presented at a time, and the user can choose between associated headings or tabs to select another panel to access. Focus may be on either the active tab within the set of tabs or on any element of the associated panel. The following keyboard shortcuts are available to operate the tabs:

Collapsible Panels

Some pages on this Web site use a collapsible panel interface, which associates blocks of content or panels with headings that the user can select to show or hide the associated panel independently. Panels are hidden by default. Focus may be on any heading or on an element within an open panel. In addition, the following keyboard shortcuts are available for the collapsible panels: