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

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

99% Accurate Captions

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

Captioning in Kaltura

If you have a video uploaded in Kaltura/My Media in Canvas, you can access the captions from the video's edit page in My Media. More information on how to correct captions can be found in the UIS Knowledge Base article on Closed Captions for Videos in Kaltura.

Other Captioning Tools

Creating Transcripts from an .srt File

Transcripts are a similarly crucial element of accessible video presentation. After you've created an accurate captions file, it's very easy to convert this into a transcript.

  1. Upload your captions to Subtitle Tools
  2. Ensure "Empty line between cues" is unchecked and click Extract text
  3. Click the Download link to save your transcript

At this point, you have a functional .txt transcript file, but the text from each cue in the subtitle file will be on its own line. This could cause it to be difficult to read for some assistive technology. You can merge these into a single block of text with Word's find and replace features to make it more readable.

  1. Download the text file and open it in Word
    • You'll be met with a File Conversion dialog. Ensure that UTF-8 is selected.
  2. Use Find and Replace (Ctrl + H) to remove the endlines by putting ^p in the Find field and either nothing or a single space in the Replace field.
    • Often, files created through YouTube have spaces and/or non-breaking spaces at the end of each line, which will not be removed along with the endlines. To remove non-breaking spaces you can use ^s, and to remove instances of multiple spaces, you can simply put two spaces in the Find field and one space in the Replace field. Repeat as necessary.
  3. Ensure that new speakers begin a new paragraph. (You can Ctrl + F for >> to quickly locate them.) If desired, break into paragraphs further.

Audio Descriptions with Captions

Audio descriptions are an audio track or transcripts 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

Embed: Frozen - Trailer with Subtitles

Disney’s Frozen Scene with Subtitles and Audio Description

Embed: Frozen - Trailer with 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.