1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded) - Level A - eLaHub

Provide captions for any prerecorded videos with sound.

How do I comply?

  • Provide open captions (which cannot be turned off) or closed captions (which can be turned on or off) for all of your videos.
  • Captions should be synchronised to the action that is happening in the video.
  • Captions should include any words spoken, identify who is speaking and include any sound effects which are important for understanding.


Learners who benefit from captions include:

  • People who are deaf or hard of hearing who read the captions instead of listening to the content.
  • People who find it easier to read and listen to content at the same time, e.g. some people who have cognitive impairments or second language learners.
  • People with temporary hearing impairments e.g. someone who has an ear infection which impacts their hearing.
  • People affected by situational impairments e.g. someone who is watching a training video without headphones.

eLaHub examples

1. Provide captions for an externally hosted video

If you are embedding a video which is hosted on a hosting site (e.g. YouTube or Vimeo), make sure that the video has captions added. Hosting sites normally give you the option to upload a caption file with their video file. Some hosting sites will add automatically generated captions e.g. YouTube (as long as the audio quality is good enough and the English is easy to understand). If you do use automatically generated captions you must always check and edit them. You will always need to add punctuation and correct errors.

Course Arc eLearning module with an embedded YouTube video. Captions appear at the bottom of the video. Underneath the captions are the YouTube functions for videos,including the CC icon to switch closed captions on and off.

Captions added in YouTube

Captions generated automatically by YouTube which contain no punctuation and many errors.

Automatically generated captions with punctuation and word recognition errors

2. Provide captions for an embedded video

Some authoring tools allow you to add caption files e.g. Lectora.

Lectora authoring tool. In the Properties ribbon there is an Add captions field. The developer has selected a captions.xml file to upload.

Add caption file

Other tools allow you to add a caption file and also have a caption editing tool. This allows you to add and edit captions directly into your eLearning resource e.g. Storyline.

Storyline captioning tool. The tool allows you to see the video and add captions below it so that you can synchronise the captions with the action in the video.

Captioning tool

Storyline page with the captions which have been added by the captioning tool appearing underneath the video.

Captions added with captioning tool

How can I test?

  • Play all videos in your eLearning resource without sound and check you have an equivalent learning experience to a learner who is able to hear.
  • Some tools, e.g. Lectora, have an accessibility checker if you select the Use Web Accessibility Settings option for your title.  The accessibility checker  will identify any multimedia objects in your title and ask you to verify that they have synchronised text equivalents.

Further information

WCAG information

Guideline1.2 Time based media
Provide alternatives for time-based media
WCAG link
1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded) (Level A)
WCAG textCaptions are provided for all prerecorded audio content in synchronised media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such.

Copyright © [2020] World Wide Web Consortium, (MIT, ERCIMKeio, Beihang)

Fully meet 1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded)

We only give a summary of the Level A standards on our site. Find out how to fully meet this standard in our book Designing Accessible Learning Content.