Provide alternatives for live audio.

Introduction

Some users with hearing impairments may rely on alternatives to enjoy live audio-only content.

How to Pass

  • Add captions to live audio; or
  • If the live broadcast is from a prepared script, make the script text available from near the original content.

Tips

To add live captions to an audio broadcast, you will need professional software and a trained operator. This isn’t a job you can accurately perform without training.

If you can use live video instead, many live streaming platforms now offer auto captions.

See also

Provide text alternatives for pre-recorded videos.

Introduction

Users with visual and/or hearing impairments may not be able to perceive the information in a video from its soundtrack or captions.

How to Pass

Provide a full text transcript for your video and link to it from near the original content

Exceptions

If the video is itself an alternative, you don’t need to add a transcript.

Tips

You may have fulfilled this Guideline if you chose to meet 1.2.3 – Audio Description or Media Alternative (Pre-recorded) with a text transcript.

A text transcript is a document that includes all information present in the video, essentially a script for the video. This means including any visual cues (for example, ‘The fisherman holds up a large bass.’) as well as dialogue and non-speech sounds.

See Also

‘Extended Audio Description (Pre-recorded)’ requires you to provide extended audio descriptions for pre-recorded videos.

Introduction

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.

For videos where there’s more information to convey than the natural pauses in the soundtrack allow you, those users need an extended audio description soundtrack.

How to Pass ‘Extended Audio Description’

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

Exceptions

  • You don’t need to add an audio description at all 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.
  • You don’t need to extend your audio description if a regular audio description can provide all of the information in the video during the natural pauses in sound.\This guideline doesn’t apply to live videos or streaming.
  • Live videos and streaming.

‘Extended Audio Description’ Tips

This builds on audio description by effectively pausing the video to give the soundtrack enough time to pass on all the information from the video. 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.

See Also

Provide sign language translations for pre-recorded videos.

Introduction

Users with hearing impairments can benefit from seeing a sign language translation of your video soundtracks. In fact, those whose first language is a sign language may have limited reading ability, meaning captions can be difficult to follow.

Sign language is also faster to interpret than written captions and can convey emotion and tone much better.

How to Pass

Make an alternative version of your video with a sign language interpreter either present in the main video or embedded as picture-in-picture and link to it from near the original content.

Tips

An obvious issue is the question of which sign language to use. Forms of sign language are often exclusive to a particular country; even British and American sign languages are completely distinct, despite the similarities of the written language.

The best bet is to provide sign language in the language of the country that you are targeting, or if you are multi-national, in the language of the country of the highest proportion of your visitors.

You’ll need to find and hire a sign language interpreter for your videos.

See Also

Provide audio descriptions for pre-recorded videos.

Introduction

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.

Exceptions

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.

Tips

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

Add captions to live videos.

Introduction

Users with hearing impairments may rely on captions to enjoy your video content. Adding captions to live videos helps people use your website when you’re streaming live video.

How to Pass

Add captions to live video.

Tips

Include presenter cues and important sound effects as well as dialogue.

Depending on the software you’re using to stream, it may have a built-in auto caption option or you may need to link up some 3rd party captioning software.

This is a difficult and potentially expensive guideline to meet. Broadcasters like the BBC hire professional subtitlers to add captions to live television.

See Also

Provide audio description or text transcript for videos with sound.

Users who are blind or visually impaired need alternatives for video content.

Adding an audio description track or text transcript helps more users enjoy your content. These both help visually impaired users when the video’s regular soundtrack doesn’t convey all the information – for example, because the presenter shows items to the camera or demonstrates a process.

How to Pass

  • Provide a full text transcript of the video; or
  • Provide a version of the video with audio description.

Exceptions

  • You don’t need to satisfy this guideline if the video is itself an alternative to other content.
  • You don’t need to provide an audio description track if the regular soundtrack contains all the information in the video.

Tips

 A text transcript is a document that includes all information present in the video, essentially a script for the video. This means including any visual cues (for example, ‘The fisherman holds up a large bass.’) as well as dialogue and non-speech sounds.

 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.

Something like a straight face-to-face interview or a speech-to-camera would probably not need audio description. If your video conveys all its information through the regular soundtrack, you don’t need to provide an audio description track. Keep this in mind when creating videos.

To meet this guideline, it’s easier to provide users with a text transcript instead of audio description. However, the either/or option only covers Level A. To reach Level AA you need to offer audio description (see 1.2.5) and for Level AAA you need both audio description and text transcript (see 1.2.8).

If you’re going to the length of audio description for this guideline, you can also satisfy 1.2.5 – Audio Description (Pre-recorded) and 1.2.7 – Extended Audio Description by recording extended audio description tracks wherever necessary.

See Also

Provide captions for videos with audio.

Introduction

Users with hearing impairments may not be able to perceive the sound on a video. Presenting the video’s content in captions means these users can fully enjoy the content.

How to Pass

  • Add captions to all videos with sound.
  • Caption all spoken word.
  • Identify speakers.
  • Caption non-speech information (such as sound effects).

Exceptions

You don’t need to provide captions if the video is itself an alternative for text. For example, if everything in the video is provided in plain text on the page and the video is the same content but recorded in a video presentation.

Tips

Captions can be closed (hidden until requested) or open (always visible), either will pass this guideline.

There are plenty of paid services that will add captions to your videos, often at reasonable rates. There are also many free programs that will attempt to create your caption file for you, but none as good as human eyes and ears just yet. Like with many areas of web accessibility, your choice is between spending time (writing your own captions) or money (outsourcing).

If you use a lot of video, build the time into your workflow from the start. If you feel you don’t have the time for captions, consider cutting the number of videos you upload. One accessible video that all of your users can enjoy is better than two videos that alienate some of your audience.

See Also

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

Introduction

Users who have difficulty with hearing and/or vision may need assistance with audio-only or video-only content, such as an audio file, embedded podcast or silent film.

As the popularity of podcasting continues to grow, making these accessible is an important part of a presenters job –  in conjunction with their web desginer.

By providing the same information conveyed in the audio-only or video-only content in a different format, users can access the content by other means, such as text transcripts or assistive technology.

How to Pass Audio-only and Video-only (Pre-recorded)

  • Provide a text transcript that conveys the same information as audio-only media;
  • Provide a text transcript that conveys the same information as video-only media; or
  • Provide an audio-track that conveys the same information as video-only media.

Exceptions

You don’t need to provide an alternative if the content is itself an alternative for text.

Tips

Sometimes creating a text transcript is simple, other times you have to make a judgement call on what to include. The best bet is, as always, to be honest with your users. What does the media convey and does your transcript do the same? Could you swap one for the other?

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.

Alternatively, for video-only content, record an audio track that narrates the video.

Place your alternative or a link to it directly beneath your video or audio content.

Related to Audio-only and Video-only (Pre-recorded)