Why ADA Compliance Videos Matter When Creating Digital Content

Why ADA Compliance Videos Matter When Creating Digital Content

Few content creators think about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when creating videos. Title II of the Act specifies guidelines for state and local entities — courts, schools, police departments, etc. — that record and edit publicly available videos so those with disabilities can access information. Although not a legal requirement, commercial organizations can also follow these guidelines to improve access to information for their audiences.  

Creating ADA compliance videos allows everyone to access your video content, regardless of ability. All audiences will understand the audio and visual portions of your videos, resulting in a better viewing experience.

Here's how to create ADA compliance videos in your organization.

Captions

The ADA requires that all videos, whether for informational or entertainment use, include captions so those with hearing-related conditions can access information. Iowa State University has created some best practices for fulfilling this requirement. These best practices include:

  • ADA compliance videos should have captions that appear at the same time as the audio in a video.
  • Captions should be readily available and accessible to viewers who need them.
  • Captions should appear long enough on the screen so viewers can read them properly.
  • No more than three lines of captions should appear on-screen at one time.
  • Editors should caption all words regardless of dialect or language.

Including captions in your videos can also benefit other audiences. For example, you can make your video content more accessible to viewers who are learning English. Furthermore, research shows captioned media can improve listening comprehension, vocabulary acquisition and word recognition skills.

Viostream's automatic caption feature comes standard at every account level and generates high-quality captions every time you upload a video to the platform. The caption editor analyzes your video, converts speech to text and creates captions for you to review. You can then publish these captions, putting you one step closer to ADA compliance videos.

Alternatively, you can invest in premium captions, where human experts create captions for your video with 99.9 percent accuracy in the first draft. Learn more about Viostream's captioning features here, or start your free trial and see them for yourself.

Related Reading: 3 Types of the Best Accessible Videos

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Transcripts

Creating transcripts for your visual content can also help you create ADA compliance videos. Essentially, a transcript is a text version of the video's audio track. Viewers can download this document and read a transcript to better understand the content in a video. You can post video transcripts on your website or in the video description section under a media player.

Always create accurate transcriptions of your video content so those with disabilities can enjoy the same viewing experience as everyone else. Although transcribing content can take a long time, especially for long videos, it can remove any barriers that prevent people with disabilities from watching and listening to your videos. Also, audio transcriptions are a requirement of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

The Transcription Certification Institute has some best practices for audio transcriptions that can apply to ADA compliance videos:

  • Only transcribe words spoken in the audio file and never omit any phrases or words you don't understand.
  • Always use U.S. English when transcribing audio content. Never use phonetics or 'netspeak.'
  • Never paraphrase content or remove words you think are irrelevant.

Related Reading: 7 Reasons to Incorporate Video Into Your Marketing Plan

‍Accessible Video Player

Using an accessible video player can also help you create ADA compliance videos. These players let viewers enlarge or zoom into videos if they have vision problems. The best video platforms have a button at the bottom of the media player that enlarges the video screen.

Some accessible video players might include a user interface that offers keyboard support and lets audiences watch videos without a mouse.

Viostream lets viewers enlarge videos to full screen by clicking on a button in the bottom right-hand corner of the media player. Viewers can watch full-screen videos on any browser or device, making visual content more accessible for those who have vision problems.  

Related Reading: 6 Benefits of Using Video on Your Website

Accessibility is important for every business that wants to create video content that resonates with audiences. Using captions, transcripts and an accessible media player can help you create ADA compliance videos and improve the viewing experience for your entire audience.

Viostream is an enterprise-level accessible video platform that can help you reach new audiences. Start your free trial with Viostream today and explore its accessibility features even further.

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Paul Vecchiato
Paul Vecchiato
Paul Vecchiato (Chief Technology Officer) is an experienced technology professional with over 15 years experience in developing and delivering complex web applications across a wide variety of industries.
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