WindRose Media signs a major webcast production contract with a U.S. Government agency by leveraging 508 compliant webcasting from MediaPlatform.
WindRose Media is a media production company that specializes in overseeing large-scale webcasts and other complex events. WindRose is active in many sectors, but the company has enjoyed particular success with government clients.
WindRose bid on a large contract to produce 51 educational webcasts for a U.S. Government agency. Like its private sector counterparts, the U.S. Government is struggling with delivering a high volume of training and educational material to large, dispersed audiences without incurring travel and facilities expenses. Rich media webcasting, with audience interactivity, has enabled government agencies to connect with remote audiences with great economy.
To earn webcasting business from the U.S. Government, WindRose needed a solution that would fit the government’s very distinct requirements for its webcasting providers. Government webcasts must comply with Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Section 508 requires that information published by the government be accessible to people with disabilities.
There are numerous factors involved in being 508 compliant, but in the context of webcasting, the primary features needed are closed-captioning, vision-impaired interface characteristics, and compatibility with “Assistive Technologies,” such as screen readers. At the same time, the government needed WindRose to be able to customize webcast presentations to suit a variety of communications needs. Finally, though it was not formally prohibited, requiring an on-premises webcasting production tool and an audience-facing software download would effectively be a show stopper. Government strictures on software installation and security guidelines are sufficiently burdensome that only a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution would qualify WindRose for the contract.
Winning Government Business with the Right Platform
According to David McCarthy, VP of Business Development for WindRose Media, it takes a combination of proven experience and the right tools to get selected as a webcasting vendor by the Federal Government. “You have to have competitive pricing, of course,” said McCarthy, “But you really have to show that you know how to produce webcasts that fit all of the government’s requirements.”
Working with MediaPlatform WebCaster, WindRose was able to demonstrate government webcasting experience that met the agency’s creative, communication and compliance needs and win the 51 webcast contract.
The WebCaster capabilities that helped WindRose secure the government business included the following:
- 508 compliance “out of the box,” including closed captioning and the ability to create “alt tags” for on-screen elements that made them readable by assistive technologies
- Viewer interface customization, which delivered two benefits:
- 508 compliance with color scheme requirements (i.e. enough color contrast to make interface readable by people with limited vision.)
- Custom design of interface for specific agency communication goals
- A completely cloud-based system, with no requirement for software download by the audience
- Audience interactivity through surveys, polls and Q&A
- User-friendly interfaces for producers, presenters and audience
- Easy archiving for on-demand viewing after the live event