Accessibility should be at the top of every digital content creator's to-do list because it has the power to transform someone's online experience. Around one in seven people worldwide have some kind of disability. So creating accessible videos can improve engagement, information access, communication, and inclusiveness.
WCAG is the gold standard of website accessibility that you can use to make your videos more convenient for customers, clients, or employees with vision or hearing-related conditions. Created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), WCAG outlines multiple requirements for accessibility so web users with disabilities can access online content in the same way as everyone else. WCAG compliance isn't a legal obligation for private companies, but adhering to these guidelines can ensure your videos reach the broadest possible audience. Compare your videos to our WCAG checklist to make them easy to access for the widest possible audience.
W3C lists several guidelines for 'time-based media,' meaning pre-recorded videos or old live streams that you upload to your website, blog, or social media pages. All of the recommendations in this WCAG checklist related to these pre-recorded videos, which some viewers can't access because of vision or hearing conditions.
W3C has fewer guidelines for live videos because it can be difficult to add accessibility features like transcripts and closed captions in real-time. However, W3C recommends uploading the script of live audio to your website so viewers can engage with a live stream.
WC3 recommends creating a transcript of "relevant content for time-based videos." That means transcribing your video content so all users can follow what's happening on-screen. A transcript is meant specifically to help viewers with hearing impairments understand the video, making them one of the most important items on this WCAG checklist.
If you want help completing transcripts for your WCAG Checklist, Viostream can help. You can now add transcripts to video content on Viostream with a few clicks of a mouse. Head over to your Media Library, locate the video you want to add transcripts, click on the Accessibility tab, and upload your transcript. Viewers will then be able to read transcribed content when watching videos. Discover more about adding transcripts to your videos here.
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The next item in this WCAG checklist is what W3C calls "synchronized captions for time-based videos." That means closed captions on pre-recorded videos that appear on screen, in real-time, for viewers who have hearing or comprehension difficulties. Captions can also help people without disabilities understand your videos in loud environments or if they have to watch the video with the sound off.
Viosteam can generate automatic closed captions every time you post a video to its platform. It does this via machine learning, which analyzes your video and converts speech to text. You can also review and spot-edit your captions before attaching them to your video with the aption editor, a standard feature in Viostream that you won't find on many other platforms.
If you want more accurate captions, Viostream offers a premium captioning service. Human captioning experts will create captions with 99.9% accuracy for videos so you can comply with WC3 guidelines and fulfill your WCAG checklist. Learn more about Viostream's closed captioning options.
Related Reading: How to Add Captions to Video Content for Corporate Clients
The final item on this WCAG checklist concerns accessible media players, which W3C describes as those that "provide a user interface that works without a mouse, through speech interface, when the page is zoomed larger, and with screen readers." In other words, you need a media player that displays video content for audiences with disabilities.
An accessible media player might come with these features:
Viostream's accessible video player lets viewers enlarge videos at any time during playback, helping audiences with vision-related problems. Viewers can watch enlarged videos across all browsers and devices. Audiences will also benefit from enhanced video player keyboard controls and can watch videos with screen readers. Learn more about Viostream's video player features here.
Accessibility can bring incredible value to viewers who would otherwise not be able to interact with your video content. By adding features like transcripts, closed captions, and an accessible video player, you can improve accessibility and inclusiveness and become a more responsible content creator. Follow the WCAG checklist above when creating videos in the future.
Viostream is a top video platform for enterprises that want enhanced accessibility, security, and media management features. Complete your WCAG checklist by signing up for a free trial and start making more accessible videos today.
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