Provide an alternative to video-only and audio-only content

Some users will find it difficult to use or understand things like podcasts and silent videos or animations.

What to do

  • Write text transcripts for any audio-only media;
  • Write text transcripts for any video-only media; or
  • Record an audio-track for any video-only media;
  • Place the text transcript, or link to it, close to the media.


Audio-only and video-only content needs to be supported by text transcripts that convey the same information as the media. Sometimes this is quite simple, other times you have to make a judgement call on what that really means. The best bet is, as always, to be honest with your customers: what does the media convey and does your transcript do the same? Could you swap one for the other?

One of the most common uses for text transcripts is when a podcast is published online. Embedding a podcast in a page is a great way of sharing your content but no good for your customers with hearing impairments. A text transcript should contain everything mentioned in the recording.

Less commonly, some videos do not have sound. Your customers with visual impairments need help with this kind of content. A text transcript for a video without sound should describe what is going on in the video as clearly as possible. Try to focus on what the video is trying to say rather than getting bogged down with detail.

As an alternative for video-only content, you could also choose to record an audio track that narrates the video.

For both audio-only and video-only, create your text transcript and place it either directly beneath the content or insert a link next to the content.


If the content is itself an alternative (you don’t have to provide a transcript of the audio track you provided to explain the silent video you used).

See also

About Author

I'm Luke, I started Wuhcag in 2012 to help people like you get to grips with web accessibility. Check out my book, 'How to Meet the WCAG 2.0'.