508 & YouTube,Twitter, etc.

How do we address 508 issues when posting information on social media sites?

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Scott Horvath

For videos that your agency posts on YouTube, you can either create captions for the video using YouTube’s tools, or CaptionTube…or you can provide the same video on your own .gov/.mil site along with the closed-caption or the transcript if you’re not able to make the CC.

As a government agency you should already have a disclaimer stating that you can’t be responsible for the content of third party sites, their privacy, etc. However, you are responsible for the content that YOU place on the site…the government contributed content…and for that you need to ensure it meets 508. As long as you have the caption or transcript available there, or you also have the same video and full transcript/caption on your site, then you’re probably fine within the eyes of 508.

At least, that’s how we approach it when posting videos to YouTube. We always link back to the copy on our own site.

Amanda Blount

Yes, I have seen many videos with a PDF or word document linked right to it. I know Dan Bailey of Ability One has a program which “reads” word documents.

Scott Horvath

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that putting captions within a PDF document isn’t the best use of the PDF format…nor easy to deal with. Using Word isn’t that much better either, although it’s probably more accessible since it’s straight text and not within a converted file format like PDF. The best option is closed-captions, next best would probably be to have the transcript available right on the page (synced) and then unsynced if not possible, then maybe a TXT file.

In the end, anything is better than nothing. And you have to do what you can with the resources you have. We all recognize that accessibility is important on web sites, but we’re also aware that we don’t always have the resources, tools, or time to make our web sites accessible in the way we would hope. So, doing at least something is better than not doing it at all.

LuAnne Lemke

Hi all. Just joined govloop.com. In case you are not aware, Business.gov has a Section 508 compliant video player that let’s you embed You Tube videos on your web site. Here’s the site for more info: http://business.sba.gov/about/features/508-video-player.html

Also, the community of web content professional managers working for the U.S. Government have a web site that covers the TOS on this topic. For more info: https://forum.webcontent.gov/?page=TOS_YouTube