Captioning and Subtitling Services

Posts tagged ‘web captions’

Are You Compliant with New Federal Captioning Guidelines?

New Federal Captioning Guidelines – Beginning January 18, 2018, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was “refreshed” to require that information and communication technology in the public sector, especially web content, be accessible to all.  Section 508 addresses not only federal agencies but is widely applied to state and local entities such as colleges and universities that receive federal funding.  If you represent such an agency, are you compliant with new federal captioning guidelines?


According to GCN: Technology, Tools and Tactics for Public Sector IT, Section 508 deals with electronic services including “web page content, PDF documents, and audio and video content,”  specifying requirements to ensure that all web content is accessible to people with disabilities, such as deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals.  These guidelines, which were ordered in January of 2017, are meant to keep pace with rapid advances in technology, such as the rising use of Internet video and live webcasts across devices.

New Federal Captioning Guidelines and Requirements

To achieve its goals, Section 508 incorporates the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.  WCAG 2.0 defines how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Of particular interest to federal agencies using video web content, Success Criterion 1.2.2 of WCAG 2.0 states, “Captions are provided for all prerecorded audio content in synchronized media.”  Examples of prerecorded synchronized media might include video tutorials or artistic performances.  Success Criterion 1.2.4 states, “Captions are provided for all live audio content in synchronized media,” and examples include live news webcasts or realtime artistic performances.  In both cases, captions should provide dialogue AND non-speech information such as sound effects and other significant audio.

State and Local Captioning Requirements

Although New Federal Captioning Guidelines Section 508 places requirements on federal agencies, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act may also require colleges and universities receiving federal funds to adhere to Section 508.  According to the EDUCAUSE Review, institutions of higher education are now facing class-action lawsuits over the issue of accessible websites.  Based on complaints from advocacy groups such as the National Association of the Deaf and the U.S. Department of Education, “Higher education should now be on notice: Anyone with an Internet connection can now file a complaint or civil lawsuit, not just students with disabilities.”

CompuScripts Can Help with New Federal Captioning Guidelines

If you represent a federal agency or an institution of higher learning which produces Internet video content, CompuScripts can bring you into compliance with Section 508 captioning requirements.  CompuScripts offers both realtime and postproduction captioning services.  Additionally, CompuScripts is endorsed by the Described and Captioned Media Program, which is administered by the National Association of the Deaf and funded by the U.S. Department of Education.   Contact CompuScripts Captioning to help your agency or school comply with Section 508.

Looming Internet FCC Compliance Deadline

CompuScripts Captioning, an approved captioning service vendor of the Described and Captioned Media Program, would like to update our captioning clients on this year’s FCC compliance deadlines as stipulated in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010. As a reminder, The CVAA addresses the closed captioning of Internet video programming.

These FCC compliance deadlines, which were first implemented in 2012, require that full-length Internet video programming feature closed captions if the program first appeared on television with captions. Movies and consumer-produced videos shown on the Internet are not required to feature captions unless they were first shown on television with captions.

Mar 2014 Deadline

Mar 2014 Deadline

As of September 30, 2013, the following categories of Internet video programming must feature closed captions: pre-recorded video that has not been edited for the Internet; pre-recorded video that has been edited for the Internet; and live or near-live video. The new FCC compliance deadlines address archival Internet video programming, mandating that within 45 days after the date it is shown on TV with captions, on or after March 30, 2014, and before March 30, 2015, video programming that a distributor already shows on the Internet must feature closed captions. In 2015, distributors will have 30 days in which to caption their Internet video programming. In 2016, distributors will have only 15 days in which to caption their Internet video programming.

Since 1999, CompuScripts Captioning has been offering closed captioning and subtitling services for broadcast, webcast, and DVD media. Our services are customized for your particular workflow and deliverables, as well as your budget. For assistance on how your Internet video programming might meet FCC compliance deadlines, or to request a quote, contact us at You may also contact our Caption Coordinator, Stacey Wilson, at or 1.888.849.9698