Why does my company need to be 508 compliant?

Did you know that on average there are 13.2 million people in this world who have a disability?

Section 508 of the U.S. Workforce Rehabilitation Act is meant to protect these individuals, and it mandates that websites and information technology be accessible to those with disabilities. This means developing a website that can be used by people with limited vision, deafness, seizure disorders, and other disabilities.

All companies would be wise to comply with the amendment, simply because it is the right thing to do! Those who choose to ignore the accessibility needs of their clients and co-workers are risking isolating these individuals, and limiting their own productivity and results in a way that is simply unjustifiable in today’s day and age.

One of the greatest things about the world we live in today, is the fact that technology allows us to communicate with team members and clients around the world. This means we should be mindful of disabled individuals, and put protocols in place to comply with Section 508.\

 

Cisco Webex Is 508 Compliant

Fortunately, Cisco Webex Meetings comes with features that allow you to be 508 compliant during your live meetings.

Features for the Hearing Impaired

By using the Multimedia Viewer with a real-time closed captioning product, you can have have the Presenter’s words show as text. To access this, go to the top Menu and select Share > Multimedia. Then just enter the URL provided by your closed captioning provider and click ok.

Or, for another option, you can use the Share Video feature to allow a sign-language professional to translate during the meeting.

Cisco Webex Meetings also allows you to enable closed captions. For those using Windows, you can do this by going to the Meeting Menu, choosing Options, and checking Enable Closed captioning. For Mac users, go to the Webex Meetings menu, select Preferences, select tools, and check Enable Closed Captioning.

To designate a participant to transcribe during the meeting, select the participants name on the participants panel, and select Change Role To > Closed Captionist.

 

Create Transcript Recordings

Did you know that Cisco Webex Meetings also conveniently has a feature that allows you to create a transcript for your recording? With select versions WBS33 and WBS39, you have the option to automatically create these transcripts. Site administrators also have the option to turn this on for either everyone, specific individuals, and the option to let them turn it on and off themselves.

To enable transcript recording, sign in to your Webex Site Administration and click Common Site Settings > Options. Then, go to Site Options and check the box that fits your needs.
When enabling this option for specific users, you can go to the User Management tab and click Edit User. From here, you can find the name of the person you are looking for and click on their name. Click on Privileges, and in the General section you can click Create recording transcripts for all of this user’s MP4 recordings.

 

There are many features within Cisco Webex that allows your company to follow the law and stay 508 compliant. Technology is changing how we communicate and work with all people. Your goal is not to isolate but be mindful and aware of your employee and/or client’s needs.

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