Accessibility Overview

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to ensuring that the Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) application is accessible to people with disabilities and strives to meet or exceed the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794d), as amended in 1998.

If you cannot access any content or use any features on this website due to a disability, please contact us via email at In addition, if you find that PECOS is inaccessible to your needs, you may submit a paper CMS-855 Medicare Enrollment Application opens new browser window as an alternative.

If you are reporting a problem accessing specific content or features, please email the material in question and/or include the URL. Please let us know the specific problems you are having.

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Browser and Operating System Support, Settings, and Features

The PECOS application officially supports Internet Explorer (version 8 or higher), Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome web browsers using Microsoft Windows (XP or higher).

In order for PECOS to work properly, your web browser must be configured to allow JavaScript. JavaScript is allowed by default in all major web browsers, so it is unlikely that you will encounter this issue unless you have intentionally turned it off. If you have JavaScript disabled, then you will see a message at the top of the page letting you know that you will need to enable it and refresh the page in order for PECOS to work properly.

PECOS supports the use of basic accessibility features provided by web browsers such as text resizing, changing text and link colors, and zoom. PECOS has been tested to scale up to 200% using browser zoom functionality, effectively doubling the size of information on the page.

PECOS also supports the use of accessibility features for supported operating systems such as high contrast themes and StickyKeys. For documentation and guidance on these accessibility features, refer to the Accessibility in Microsoft Products page opens new browser window and select your operating system.

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Assistive Technology Support

PECOS has been tested with the JAWS (Version 16) and NVDA screen readers.

While PECOS officially supports Google Chrome and older versions of Internet Explorer, it is tested using JAWS 16 paired with Internet Explorer 11 and the latest version of NVDA paired with the latest version of Firefox. We use the default settings for both screen readers while conducting our testing since we assume beginner screen reader users will not be using highly configured settings. The accessibility of both browser and screen reader software continue to improve over time and so it is recommended that newer versions are used for a more optimal experience.

For guidance on how to use the JAWS and NVDA screen readers, including a comprehensive list of keystrokes, refer to the JAWS support documentation opens new browser window and NVDA user guideopens new browser window.

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PECOS Accessibility and Usability Consideration

The PECOS application was designed with consideration for both accessibility and usability. It accounts for multiple types of disabilities such as keyboard users needing to track their focus and perform all actions using a keyboard, screen reader users needing alternative text for images and properly defined section headings for navigation, and vision-impaired users needing appropriate contrast between elements on the page in order to read and distinguish the information.

In addition to following these basic accessibility principles, PECOS provides additional features such as the following:

  • Pages throughout the application follow a consistent structure that allow easy navigation and location of information
  • A 'Skip to Main Content' link is provided on every page to easily jump to the main content. This link is the first element on every page and is visually hidden until it receives keyboard focus.
  • A custom focus indicator is provided to more prominently show which element currently has keyboard focus.
  • Links that open in a new tab include an image icon at the end of the link with descriptive alt text. This is particularly helpful to screen reader users since it makes these types of changes in context predictable.

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PECOS' Use of Tables

The PECOS application uses "layout tables" to control the visual layout of the pages. Because of the table-based layouts, screen reader users listen to the screen reader to detect this information. However, screen reader users can distinguish between the presence of actual data tables used for presenting and tabulating data versus layout tables.

For actual data tables, table headers are used to help screen readers make sense of table structures. For layout tables, neither a summary description nor table headers are provided.

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Downloading Reports Data

Users may download populated CMS 855 Medicare forms, supporting documentation, and other PECOS documents as an Adobe Acrobat PDF. PECOS includes the following note on each page that a PDF can be generated:

Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader opens new browser window in order to view. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version.

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YouTube Accessibility

PECOS provides training tutorials that are hosted on YouTube. These videos display in either a Flash player or an HTML5 player. The Flash player requires that Flash be installed on your computer and is also known to be less accessible than the HTML5 version. Flash can be installed by navigating to the Adobe Flash Player page opens new browser window and following the provided instructions.

YouTube defaults to the HTML5 player for web browsers that support all of the necessary requirements. Web browsers that support some, but not all, of the necessary requirements default to the Flash player unless you specifically request that the HTML5 player be used. This request can be made on the YouTube HTML5 Video Player page. opens new browser window Web browsers that do not support any of the necessary requirements default to the Flash player with no way to switch to the HTML5 player.

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Keyboard Operations for Date Picker Widget

The following keyboard controls will perform the following actions and navigations when viewing a calendar widget in PECOS:

Command Description
Up/Down Arrows Toggle between same day in previous/next week
Left/Right Arrows Toggle to previous/next day
Alt+Page Up Toggle to same date in previous year
Alt+Page Down Toggle to same date in next year
Page Up Toggle to same date in previous month
Page Down Toggle to same date in next month
Home Move focus to first day of current month
End Move focus to last day of current month
Enter Submit form with date selected
Escape Closed the date picker widget without any selection

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