508 compliance refers to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which applies to all federal agencies “when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology. Under Section 508, agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others.”
For most digital content, this means providing alternative text to images so screen readers can interpret them, including subtitles on videos or detailed video scripts, and using clear colors. But how do you know if your materials are 508 compliant?
This document based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines details the most common and simple ways to ensure your materials are accessible.
However, there are many considerations for various types of digital media. The Department of Health and Human Services maintains full checklists and information for different media. Updating your materials to suit all learning styles and needs is within your control! Many programs and web services can assist with these tasks – and your students will thank you.