Alternate Media Services

Alternate Media Services is committed to ensure compliance with the basic guidelines provided for Section 508 by the State Chancellor’s Office in 1999.  This page is dedicated to provide Irvine Valley College Faculty some resources and guidelines related to Section 508. 

What is Section 508?

Section 508 is an amendment to the United States Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973, is a federal law mandating that all electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities.


Additional Resources on Section 508

Section 508 Standards and Law


Top 10 Questions about Section 508

Section 508 - U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


What does Section 508 mean to you?

  • All online lectures and videos must be captioned before they are shown for the first time
  • Captioning is required whether or not deaf students will be in the class; for videos, transcripts are not the same (must have synchronized text and video)
  • All course materials (textbooks, PDF and Microsoft Office documents and web pages) that are used in class should be accessible to all students

Section 508 is everybody's responsibility!

Below are some guidelines, tips and links to external resources that you can use to ensure your course materials are Section 508 compliant.  For any questions or further inquiries in any of the topics discussed here, please contact ​Alternate Media Services. 

Guidelines for Showing Videos

All online lectures and all videos that will be shown in class must be captioned before they are shown for the first time.  For any questions, you can contact ​Alternate Media Services. 

  • For online lectures, make sure all videos are captioned.  If you need captioning assistance, you can send an email to  For live online lectures, students can request for Real Time Captioning through DSPS.
  • For Purchased videos or DVDS, please ensure that captions are included.  Most DVDs in the market are already captioned, however it is still best practice to make sure that they are captioned prior to purchasing them.  If you need assistance or verification, you can contact
  • For YouTube videos, not all videos available are captioned.  Ensure that the video is accurately captioned before sharing it with your class.  Do not show videos that have auto-generated captions, these are captions that were automatically generated using YouTube's speech recognition technology.  Most of these auto-generated captions are not accurate and should not be shown in class. 

Guidelines for Showing and Posting Course Materials

All course materials that are shown in class and posted on Canvas need to be accessible to all our students with disabilities.  This includes but not limited to MS PowerPoint presentations, PDFs and MS Word.

Here are some pointers to consider:


  • Research shows that sans-serif fonts are more easily read on computer monitors than are serif fonts
  • Samples of Sans Serif Typefaces
  • Try to limit use of different fonts
  • Limit use of all CAPS, italics or bold text


  • Alternative text should be available and can be read by screen readers.  Screen readers are software programs that allow blind or visually impaired users to read the text that is displayed on the computer screen with a speech synthesizer or braille display. 
  • Limit images on a course material that has a purpose and not just for aesthetic
  • All images should have alternative text for Section 508 compliance
  • Alternative text associated with an image or graphic should communicate its purpose or the information it's conveying

Color Contrast

  • There should be a high contrast between the background color and the font color
  • Avoid extremely bright colors as a background color, it makes text very hard to read. 

Additional Resources

Guidelines for Web Accessibility

If you are creating a webpage for your class, please ensure that it is accessible to all your students.  Here are a few guidelines for you as you create your own webpage. 

Web accessibility is allowing people with disabilities to use the web. This includes all disabilities that would affect web access. Examples of disabilities that would affect web access are visual disabilities such as blindness, tunnel vision or even low vision; auditory disabilities, such as deafness and speech disabilities; and physical limitations such as even arthritis or Parkinson's disease. 


  • Go back to Guidelines for Showing and Posting Course Materials


  • Use descriptive text when using hyperlinks
  • Do not use hyperlinks written as "click here"

Videos and Audio

  • All videos in the webpage both embedded and links, should have captions available
  • All audio (podcasts, mp3 or wav files) should have a transcript available.

Course Materials

  • Ensure all documents that are available for download are accessible. 
  • Go back to Guidelines for Showing and Posting Course Materials.