Video Captions

If video files are used, captions or a synchronized text transcript should be provided.

Note: Captions also benefit non-native speakers, users with audio disabled or viewers watching a video with poor quality audio.

WCAG 2.0 Guideline 1.2.2 — "Captions are provided for all prerecorded audio content in synchronized media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such."

Video Captions Example

The University of Melbourne: A Profile

Audio Description

Videos that include visual information critical to comprehension should include a description of events or images for visually impaired audiences. For example, a screencast of a software product should name the buttons and commands being used, not just say "click here".

WCAG 2.0 Guideline 1.2.3 — "An alternative for time-based media or audio description of the prerecorded video content is provided for synchronized media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such."

Audio Description Example

Create your Own Melbourne

The video story below does not contain any dialog and so a description needs to provided for vision impaired users.

Text description - Create your Own Melbourne

Audio Transcripts

If you use audio files on your Web page, a text transcript or other text-based material should be provided.

WCAG 2.0 Guideline 1.2.1 — "An alternative for time-based media is provided that presents equivalent information for prerecorded audio-only content."

Note: Transcripts are also beneficial to users who may not be able to access audio on their computers. This is a very frequent situation.


Video files should be embedded or displayed in a player that can be accessed by a screen reader via keyboard commands. Accessible players include QuickTime, RealPlayer, iTunes, YouTube and properly configured JW Player.

WCAG 2.0 Guideline 2.1 — "Make all functionality available from a keyboard."

Additional Considerations

A lengthy piece of audio or video should not be played by default when entering a page. Instead, the user should be able to click the play button to start the file. This provision prevents audio from interfering with screenreader audio.


This document has been reproduced with the permission of Penn State University: