Creating Accessible Videos

Videos can be made accessible by:

  • the way the video is created;
  • how the video is inserted in the site;
  • by providing a transcript;
  • by providing audio descriptions; and
  • by providing captions.

Video content

When creating video content:

  • select an appropriate video length;
    • for instructional videos, an appropriate length is 5 to 10 minutes
    • recorded lectures or events may be longer, but realize your audience's attention span
  • use only high contrast colors;
  • do not convey information using color alone;
  • do not use patterned backgrounds or settings;
  • do not include any flashing or flickering content; and
  • use a consistent, accessible file format.

If you plan to display text on screen, make sure that it’s reasonably large and choose a readable font. Use high-contrast colors, and ensure that the text remains on-screen long enough to be read.

Modified from "Video Accessibility Principles" (Accessibility Oz)

Authoring tools

When utilizing authoring tools to produce learning modules or other video resources, enable accessibility features based for the specific software or application. (Vendors typically provide this information online, or try consulting a company representative.)

Important: Once learning modules have been created, output typically cannot be made accessible. The best solution is to enable accessibility features within the software or application settings, edit the native file, and re-publish the output.

Adding videos to websites

When inserting a video in a website:

  • allow the user to skip over the video using the mouse only;
  • allow the user to skip over the video using the keyboard only;
  • ensure the site is functional and all content is available without the video; and
  • include information about how to access the video player.

See requirements for video players, captions, transcripts and audio descriptions.

Did you know?

  • In the United States, about 55 million people have a disability (src: 2010 U.S. Census).
  • About 1 in 5 Americans have some kind of disability (src: 2010 U.S. Census).
  • The percentage of people affected by disabilities is growing as our population ages.
  • Two popular, free screen readers are VoiceOver (Mac OS and iOS) and NVDA (Win).
  • Good accessibility practices can improve the search ranking of your website.
  • Form fields without labels can cause problems for some assistive technology users.
  • Low color contrast makes content difficult to see, especially for users with low vision.
  • Documents linked on a website need to be accessible too (e.g., PDF and Word files).
  • Audio content, like podcasts, need transcripts for deaf or hard of hearing users.
  • Online videos should be captioned for deaf or hard of hearing users.
  • Using HTML tags correctly is very important for accessibility.
  • Descriptive link text helps make a website more accessible. Avoid using "Click here" or "Read more."
  • A "screen reader" is an application that reads content aloud to a user.
  • There is no "alt tag" in HTML. "Alt" is an attribute used with the img tag.
  • HTML uses the alt attribute to provide a text description of an image.
  • Alt text should describe an image, if the purpose of the image is to convey information.
  • If an image is a link, the alt text for the image should explain where the link goes.
  • If an image is only being used for decoration, the alt text should be null (i.e., alt="").
  • If a table has headers, using header tags (<th>) will make the table more accessible.
  • An accessible website is one that can be navigated and understood by everyone.