Section 508 Compliance

Section 508 Compliance Closed Caption Budgeting

Section 508 compliance grants and other funding resources.

The question is common and it may be one you are asking yourself, “How can my school or department afford adding closed captions to meet Section 508 compliance mandates?”

The law.

Educators are required by different laws to adhere to Section 508 compliance mandates for educational video.  Section 508 Compliance ensures equal access for students with disabilities and second language learners.  With recent lawsuits in the news against Harvard and MIT for failing to provide captions on educational video, the pressure has multiplied on budget constrained educators.  It’s no longer an option to provide accessibility through Section 508 compliance, it is a pressing requirement.

The good news is that there are multiple benefits to utilizing closed captions in the learning environment and one of them is improved learning outcomes.  A randomized controlled trial examined the impacts of captions on the reading comprehension skills of secondary school students in Kaneohe, Hawaii.  Students using captioned media scored significantly higher than students in the comparison condition.  In an additional study done by Neilsen and PlanetRead, the research indicates that the use of subtitles on TV doubled the number of functional early-age readers.  That is impressive.

Where to start?

Now that we all agree that we both need and want to provide captions for Section 508 compliance, what to do about budget concerns?

One important method for funding is in your own backyard.  Seek local community support for your caption programs.   Foundations, corporations and individual donors can all participate in lessening the financial burden of your captioning program.  There are an increasing number if government and various associations that are willing to help.  Below is a list of resources that will get you started in the right direction.   We will make sure to continue to update new grant and funding opportunities to supplement your Section 508 compliance caption budgets.

Funding Resources:

  1. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
  2. The Federal Register for Educational Technology Materials
  3. National Association of the Deaf
  4. National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
  5. Distance Education Captioning and Transcription Grant

Accessibility Laws and Links:

Nicole E. Flynn, CMO at cielo24, is deeply interested in exploring and communicating the ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) intersects with various aspects of our daily lives. She is passionate about exploring the ways in which AI can be ethically harnessed to improve the quality of life and make our world a better place. Nicole seeks to educate and inform audiences about the potential of AI technology and how it can be used to drive innovation and growth.