508 Guidance for CLP Media Content


On September 7, 2017, the Department of Interior’s Office of the Chief Information Officer released OCIO Directive 2017-003 and associated Standard Operating Procedures for Creating Accessible Audio/Visual Media to the DOI workforce.

OCIO Directive 2017-003 requires DOI personnel to ensure that all audio and visual media produced or published by DOI bureaus and offices are accessible to individuals with disabilities at the time of posting or distribution.

The Standard Operating Procedures assist personnel in complying with both the requirements established in the Directive and the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Standards and Guidelines (36 CFR Part 1194). The Standard Operating Procedures answer questions regarding both closed captioning and audio description.

Beginning January 18, 2018, federal agencies and contractors must comply with the updated 508 Standards.

This new information raises the big question: how does this affect content being shared via the CLP?

508 Guidance for CLP Content

CLP content will follow the standards and best practices established in Directive 2017-003 and the Standard Operating Procedures. This means:

Any visual media (including recorded webinars) shared on the CLP must be:

  • closed captioned; AND
  • audio described.

After January 18, 2018, the CLP will not accept media content that does not comply with the new 508 Standards.

Prepare your Media

It’s important to think about accessibility and the 508 standards at the beginning of each media project – this will ensure that you’re able to share your product when it’s completed!

When beginning to think about recording video, be sure to include captioning/audio description estimated costs in your project budget. Additionally, keep in mind that a well scripted video without graphics (e.g. a person sitting with a simple backdrop speaking into a video camera) will be easier (and less expensive) to caption/audio describe. The more visual content used in the video, the more audio description will be necessary and the more expensive the production costs.

Find out how to close caption and audio describe your media for the CLP below.

How do I close caption my content?

Most video hosting web sites like YouTube and Vimeo have built-in tools to create captions for your content. Follow the site’s instructions.

Once the site has created the captions, it’s important to check their work. Watch the video from beginning to end. Make sure their transcriptions are:

  • accurate;
  • clearly visible from beginning to end, including when the background changes;
  • correctly synchronized to the video; and
  • include markers for non-speech information like music.

If you prefer to close caption your content manually, the NPS Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) has instructions in its SOPs for Creating Accessible Audio-Visual Media.

How do I audio describe my content?

Due to the various variables inherent in audio description, it’s difficult to define a budget and create a contract for audio description. Therefore, the Distance Learning Group does not have an audio description vendor in place. However, the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) offers a listing of audio-description vendors.

Consult these resources for any audio-description needs.

Additional Resources

Join the Section 508 and Accessibility workgroup on the CLP Commons! This group offers a space to ask questions, share resources, and access experts.


Need help preparing your media content to share on the CLP? Email the Common Learning Portal Team.

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