Accessibility and compatibility features for Secure Access



 About this guide

This guide is intended to assist individuals with disabilities in their use of the Secure Access application. The guide will provide direction in accessing the features available in online account using specific technologies, including screen readers, screen magnifiers and voice command systems.

Application overview

When you access online services, we provide this Secure Access registration and login system so that no one else can access your IRS online account. A Secure Access account lets you access many tax tools with the same username and password.

Information for specific technologies, issues, and guidance

The following directions will help users of assistive technology as they use this application:

  • Data stays in fields when the form is not accepted: To protect user security, the system checks all inputs after a page is submitted to be sure everything matches against expected data. When there is a problem with the data entered, you will be returned to the page. To avoid the need for data re-entry, the data that you entered before will remain in the fields. If you need to change data in any of the fields to resolve the problem, you can clear the text and re-enter.
  • Selecting a site image: When creating your profile, you will need to select a site image from a carousel of alternate images if you do not wish to use the image that has been selected as a default. You may also choose to update a site image while updating your profile. Here's how to select one using JAWS: use TAB to navigate to the "Choose Your Site Image" link and press ENTER. A carousel of alternate images will expand, but JAWS will not announce that the carousel has expanded. Use TAB to navigate through the image choices and their accompanying radio buttons which follow each image. When you hear the description of an image you want, either press ENTER to select that image, or press TAB once to go to the image's radio button and make your selection by pressing SPACE. The selection will be silent after making your choice. To confirm which image you picked, press [SHIFT + TAB] until you navigate back to the site image, and the newly selected image should be announced as the assigned site image.

    Note: The "dartboard" image may not be selectable as your site image. A different site image choice is recommended.
  • Password help: When creating your profile, changing or resetting your password, the page has an area with password rules that are updated as you type, with whether the rules are in a 'Pass' or 'Fail' status. The rules are read first by screen readers that read the entire page, before focus is set in any field. A 'Fail' status for any rule is announced when focus leaves the failing text field. A 'Pass' status for any rule can be read by a screen reader by using a 'Read from cursor' command with focus in the Username, Password, or Re-enter Password fields.
  • Updating your password: When updating your password using 'Edit Your User Profile' via the keyboard, you need to TAB to the 'Password' field, and enter your new password, then TAB to the 'Re-enter Password' field and enter the new password again. Finally, you need to TAB to the 'Current Password' field and enter the current password and press ENTER to submit your changes.
  • Forgot username: On the Forgot Username page, there are two links to "reregister", but they lead to different pages. The second "reregister" link is only for tax professionals who use e-Services applications.
  • Visual focus: When the keyboard is used to navigate pages, you can confirm that the focus is on an editable field by the presence of a cursor in that field, and you can confirm that the focus is on a link by the link being highlighted. Additionally, you can confirm that the focus is on a button by the button being highlighted.  
  • Keyboard access: On several pages during the registration process, a virtual assistant dialog box may appear to assist the user with any data validation errors found after submitting information on the page. There is currently no visual focus displayed within the virtual assistant dialog box, which may cause difficulty when using a keyboard for navigation. Focus is accurately announced via screen reader software. Several menus or buttons are not keyboard accessible within the virtual assistant dialog box. These items can be activated via mouse click or screen reader commands.
  • Inactivity during login: If you've been inactive for longer than 15 minutes during the login process, your session will end automatically, and you will need to retry.