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Requirement •  Explanation •  Examples

Accessibility Initiative

Section 508 Requirement

(b) Multimedia:
Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.


Video clips must be captioned, and audio files must be accompanied by text transcripts. Doing so will not only be helpful to the hearing impaired, it also will be beneficial to those with learning disabilities, "visual learners," and visitors whose native language is not English.


Multimedia Presentations

Note: "On the Web, synchronized, equivalent captions should be provided any time audio content is present. This obviously pertains to the use of audio and video played through multimedia players such as Quicktime, RealPlayer, or Windows Media Player, but can also pertain to such technologies as Flash, Shockwave, or Java when audio content is a part of the multimedia presentation" (WebAIM "Web Captioning Overview").

Audio Files

One way of meeting requirement "m" for an audio file is to provide a transcript or lyrics for a sound recording. For example, when providing an audio clip of Winthrop's Alma Mater, consider including the song lyrics also.

Listen to Winthrop's Alma Mater.
Note: By clicking on the link above, you will open a .wav file that is 1013kb. Wav files can be opened with most audio players, for a list of links to player downloads, visit the plug-ins section of the Winthrop site.

The Chapel holds our history,
Each new day Tillman rings,
Your halls are rich with memories,
To which we'll always cling.
A part of each one here remains,
As a part of you we claim,
Alma Mater, may your name be grand,
Winthrop ever stand.

The friends we've made, the memories,
Will last a lifetime long,
We soar to reach the goals,
We've set as Eagles bold and strong.
May others see our loyalty,
Ever honored you will be,
Alma Mater, may your name be grand,
Winthrop ever stand.

Melody: Donna C. Durst, 1983
Text: Donna C. Durst and Lisa Breland Spangler, 1987

Note: Providing an audio transcript also fulfills standard (a) regarding providing a text description for all non-text material.

Video Files


For your convenience, you may also wish to download a printer-friendly Section 508 checklist (pdf).
For additional assistance with this requirement, send an email to

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