Creating Accessible Videos for Online Courses

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0 require four pieces for a video to be considered accessible. In brief, those guidelines are:

  • Captions at 99%+ accuracy
  • Spoken audio descriptions of relevant materials in videos
  • Captioned audio descriptions of the spoken audio descriptions in videos
  • Transcript that includes video captions and audio description captions

To view a fully accessible video with transcript looks like, check out this sample video with spoken and captioned audio descriptions with full transcript. In the page below, you’ll find resources and instructions to complete all these steps.

99% Accurate Captions

Creating accurate captions is a critical piece of creating an accessible video. A free resource from Cielo24 explain all you need to know about captions in their Captioning Compliance Checklist.

No-Cost Captioning Tools

UIS Captioning Tools

Audio Descriptions with Captions

Audio descriptions are an audio track that describe the visuals you see on a screen. You should create captions for the audio descriptions in the same way that you would provide them for the audio included with the video.

To understand what a difference audio descriptions can make for a student, please view these two frozen clips below.

Disney’s Frozen Scene with Subtitles and without Audio Description

Disney’s Frozen Scene with Subtitles and Audio Description

The simplest way to include audio descriptions is to build the audio descriptions into your video lectures from the beginning. For instance, if you are creating a Light Board video where you are drawing a graph on the board, simply explain what you are drawing as you are doing it. If you are narrating a PowerPoint lecture, describe what is on the screen. If text is all that is on your slide, make sure you speak all the text.

DigitalGov created an excellent resource that explains the different options for including audio tracks.

Transcript

A transcript should be available for the video. Once you have captions, transcripts are easy! The transcript should included the video captions and the audio description captions.

If you start with a transcript, you can also use YouTube to sync your transcript to the timings in your video.