Provide audio descriptions for pre-recorded videos.


Users with visual impairments or cognitive limitations may rely on audio description to enjoy videos. Adding an audio description soundtrack to videos means these users get all information from the content.

How to Pass

  • Provide an audio described version of a video’s soundtrack, selectable by the user; or
  • Provide an alternative version of your video with audio description.


You don’t need to add audio description if your video conveys all its information through the regular soundtrack. Something like a straight face-to-face interview, or a speech to-camera would probably not need audio description.


Audio description is an edited version of a video’s soundtrack that adds more information than the regular soundtrack offers during pauses. This might mean narrating movements that are not audibly explained in the video, identifying speakers or explaining visual information. You can provide this to users by letting them select an audio track within the video player or having links to both versions of the video.

Keep this guideline in mind when creating videos to reduce your workload.

If you provided audio descriptions for videos to meet 1.2.3, you’ve already fulfilled this guideline.

This doesn’t apply to live videos or streaming.

See Also

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4 comments on “1.2.5 – Audio Description (Pre-recorded) (Level AA)

    Matt Kreiling says:

    If the purpose of a video is e-learning, is it sufficient to have a html version of the course content and categorize the video as a “media alternative to text.”?

      Luke McGrath says:

      Hi Matt, for this guideline it’s all about auto description rather than a text alternative – although you’ll only need one if there’s information in the video that the regular soundtrack doesn’t convey.

        Matt Kreiling says:

        Thank you for your reply! To be clear, if I have a video, which does contain some meaningful images or actions, but have a text alternative that conveys the same meaning, I _do not_ need an audio-description. Is that correct?

          Luke McGrath says:

          To reach Level AA you do need an audio description soundtrack if the regular soundtrack doesn’t cover all the information in the video. A text alternative only gets you to Level A.


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