Did you know that there are over 51 million people who have some type of disability in the U.S.? That’s roughly 16% of the country’s population. For that reason, the U.S. Access Board enacted Section 508 of the Workforce Rehabilitation Act to require federal agencies and their contractors to meet the standard accessibility requirement for information and communication technology (ICT) developed for people with disabilities.
In terms of webinars, being Section 508 compliant will surely give you the widest reach of audience whether or not you contract with government agencies. This is actually beneficial to everyone – not just people with disabilities. Think of it as a business tool imperative to innovation. The larger your audience is, the more successful your webinar will be. So, how can you make your webinar Section 508 compliant?
- Strategize the structure of your course properly. Make sure everyone follows the flow of the discussion.
- Utilize closed captions or streaming texts throughout the webinar. All spoken dialogue must be captioned so that people who are deaf or hard of hearing won’t miss any information.
- Make sure everything in your presentation is visible at initial glance.
- Use sufficient color contrasts on texts and images for people who are colorblind.
- Consider the font style and font size you’re using. Make the size larger and the style simpler for people who may have troubles with their eyesight.
- Provide clear, straightforward charts and graphs when necessary.
- Avoid crazy animations, special effects or slide transition styles.
- Refrain from giving multiple instructions. Make it a seamless experience by using a webinar that does not require installing a software or unnecessarily downloading bulky files.
- Choose a secure webinar platform that can be used in firewalled locations to save your participants the trouble.
- Provide webinar transcripts to participants afterwards.
Whether your company is required to be Section 508 compliant or not, you can always adopt to broaden the scale of your webinar audience and extend your impact to people with disabilities. Ensure that people who are hard of hearing can fully participate through ConferTel’s Section 508 compliant webinar platform with closed captions or real-time streaming texts and other transcription options.