Section 508 Compliance Regulations
Section 508 compliance regulations can feel complicated and confusing. In essence the laws are intended to allow equal access to information for all people.
§ 1194.1 Purpose
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794d). Section 508 requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology, Federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.
§ 1194.24 Video and multimedia products
c) All training and informational video and multimedia productions which support the agency’s mission, regardless of format, that contain speech or other audio information necessary for the comprehension of the content, shall be open or closed captioned.
d) All training and informational video and multimedia productions which support the agency’s mission, regardless of format, that contain visual information necessary for the comprehension of the content, shall be audio described.
e) Display or presentation of alternate text presentation or audio descriptions shall be user-selectable unless permanent.
How does this law impact my organization?
- Federal agencies are required to ensure that their websites are compliant with Section 508 of the Act.
- Private companies doing business with the federal government are also required to make their website 508 compliant to the extent that the content on the website relates to the federal government.
- Video that appears on government websites must be captioned for the deaf and hard of hearing.
- PDF Documents and forms on government websites must be accessible to blind and low vision individuals, both government employees and the general public.
- Beginning in October of 2011, a designated amount of audible video description will be required for media that appears in broadcast, cable, Internet, and the cinema.