Video and Audio Accessibility

Accessibility considerations for video and audio content

There are several ways that you can make your audio and video content more accessible:

This page provides information on how and when to use captions, transcripts, and audio descriptions, and how to select an accessible media player.

Student accommodations

If a student has an accommodation through the Services for Students with Disabilities office (SSD) for captions, transcripts or audio descriptions, faculty and staff can request these services through the SSD caption and transcript request form.

Captions

Captions are a synchronized text version of audio and video content. You can add captions to your content by either using a vendor for professional captioning or editing automatically-generated captions. If you use automatically-generated captions, they will need to be edited for accuracy.

You can evaluate captions for quality based on the following features:

  • Captions are synchronized with the video and audio content.
  • Captions use correct grammar and punctuation.
  • Speaker labels indicate who is speaking.
  • Captions convey important background sounds and music.

Professional captioning

You can get accurate captions by working with a vendor to generate professional captions. Different services will have different costs and turn-around times. You can compare the features and costs of different captioning services.

Auto-captioning with edits

MiVideo and Canvas

You can add machine-generated captions and edit captions for your MiVideo content. Once you have added captions to your MiVideo content, you will also have to enable captions on the MiVideo player.

Ordering captions in MiVideo

To order machine-generated captions, follow along with the video tutorial How to Order Captions for a Video In My Media on Canvas or the following step-by-step instructions to Order Captions for Media in Canvas or MiVideo MediaSpace. Automatically generating captions will need to be edited for accuracy.

  1. In MiVideo, select “My Media” from the user icon drop-down, or in Canvas, select your account icon from the left-side navigation bar, then select "My Media".
  2. Select and open the video that you want to caption.
  3. Open the "Actions" drop-down menu and select "Caption & Enrich".
  4. Once you have selected the video language, hit "Submit".

You will receive an email when the captioning request is completed.

Editing captions in MiVideo

Automatically generated captions will need to be edited for accuracy. You can edit automatically generated captions in MiVideo.

Exporting captions from MiVideo

You can download MiVideo captions and use them if you upload your media content to a different platform.

YouTube

YouTube auto-generates captions that can be edited for accuracy. You can also upload captions to YouTube from another source.

Zoom

After a Zoom meeting or event, you can include and edit captions and a transcript for the video recording.

Vimeo

Vimeo does not provide automatically-generated captions. However, you can upload captions to add to your content.

Transcripts

Transcripts provide an asynchronous text version of audio or video content. If you have audio content that does not have synchronized video — for example, a podcast — you will need to provide a transcript. Transcripts can also be provided in addition to captions for videos.

Creating transcripts

Transcripts can be created from a script, automatically generated and edited, created from captions, or professionally transcribed.

Audio descriptions

Audio descriptions provide information about visual elements of a video. This is especially important for people who are blind or have a visual disability who may not be able to see visual content or text in a video.

Creating audio descriptions

You can create audio descriptions yourself or use a vendor for professional audio descriptions. The simplest way to provide audio descriptions is to incorporate it into your narration or script before recording. For example, if you are making a video of a slide presentation, describe the the visual content of the slides.

Audio descriptions can also be included in a separate audio track or text file, which you can create or have professionally created.

Accessible media players

When deciding what media player to use for your content, it is important to select a media player that is accessible. Some essential accessibility considerations for accessible media players include:

  • Keyboard and screen reader accessible: You must be able to navigate through and use all of the media player controls via keyboard and with a screen reader.
  • Supports captions and audio descriptions: Captions and audio descriptions previously added to a video will be presented correctly when using the player.

Both MiVideo and Youtube have several accessibility features. If you are sharing a playlist, YouTube is recommended.

MiVideo

MiVideo supports captions, transcripts, and audio descriptions.

YouTube

YouTube supports captions and transcripts. YouTube does not support separate audio tracks for audio descriptions.

  • Youtube accessibility includes information about accessibility features, keyboard shortcuts, and using YouTube with a screen reader.

Flashing content

Some flashing, blinking, or strobing content can cause seizures for some people. It is important to make sure that your video content does not contain more than three flashes in any one second period, or that the flash is below the general flash and red flash thresholds

You can use the Photosensitive Epilepsy Analysis Tool (PEAT) to analyze your video content for seizure risks.

Additional resources