United States Department of Veterans Affairs
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Training for Testing HTML for 508 Compliance

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Testing for §1194.22 (b): Multimedia Presentation

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This module will focus on testing web pages that contain multimedia such as video or audio presentations.

The Section 508 requirement covering this is: §1194.22 (b) Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.

What are considered equivalent alternatives?

  • Captioning for audio portions must be synchronized with audio.
  • Audio descriptions for video portions must be synchronized with video.
  • Synchronized captioning must be done so someone reading the captions can also view the speaker so as to associate relevant body language with speech.

How should audio presentations be treated?

  • Audio portions must be captioned.
  • Text equivalent must be provided if audio is part of a multimedia presentation. (Multimedia generally includes both audio and video.)
  • Text transcript of the presentation must be available if it is audio only.

If a website offers audio files with no video, do they have to be captioned?

  • No, because it is not multimedia. However, since audio is a non-text element, a text equivalent, such as a transcript, must be available. Similarly, a (silent) web slide show presentation does not need to have an audio description accompanying it, but does require text alternatives to be associated with the graphics.

If a Federal agency official delivers a live audio and video webcast speech, does it need to be captioned?

  • Yes, this would qualify as a multimedia presentation and would require the speech to be captioned.

Related Checkpoints

Remember, both testers and developers can use the checkpoints for this requirement to be sure the products they are working with will be accessible to users of Assistive Technology (AT).

Use the link above to look at the checkpoints now. You may wish to keep the window open as a reference to use as you complete this module.

Video Overview of this Requirement

To view an approximately one and one-half-minute video with additional information which may be helpful to testers and developers, select the video link below. The video will open in a new window; if you are using a screen reader to take this training, press enter when you hear, "To start, press Play button."

Multimedia Presentation Video in new window

Now, select Next for an Example.

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