Are conferences subject to Section 508?

Are conferences Electronic and Information Technology and subject to Section 508? On one hand, accommodation for attendees with disabilities is not Section 508. Those accommodations are covered by ADA. On the other hand, websites and presentations, webinars, and other electronic information distributed as part of the conference are subject to Section 508. For example if […]

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Allen Sheaprd

I thought it was yes. For government functions there are interpreters at both large and small conferences.

Are dietary accomodations are made ? This would imply having diet soda, vegitarian or kosher lunch for people who can not see, hear or nor participate. (said with a grin to make a point, not an argument)

Yes, ease of accomodations as well as the number of people affected is a consideration.

BTW – a funn story about accomodations. The comedian Jeff Dunnham had an interpreter at one of his performances. He was funny but brutal. As a ventriloquist he kept moving his lips and the dummy’s lips but said nothing. Hence the interpreter heard nothing and stood still. Well the hearing audience started to laugh. Mr. Dunnham said it was hard to keep a straight face for he could see all the deaf folks signing & trying to figure out *what* was going on.

Melinda Davey

Hello Allen. Thanks for commenting on this post. I agree that accommodations and interpreters are very important. My point was that ADA covers those things, and Section 508 covers thing such as registration and information websites.

It is important to ask people ahead of time, if they have any special needs. I am not aware of any law requiring the government to provide for example vegetarian meals, but it is a definitely a good practice.

Concerning your story, it is important for presenters to describe what is going on, not just what is being said. For example if a presenter asks audience members to raise their hands in response to a question, then they should state about how many hands were raised. That situation may have been funny for some of the audience but made others feel left out.

Thanks again for visiting. I plan to keep adding posts from the Accessibiltiy Forum 2.0 blog and hope to hear from you again!