For all videos with sound either, edit the audio track in your videos so that it includes audio description, provide a descriptive audio track, or provide the description in the surrounding text.
To meet WCAG AA standards, you do not have to provide a transcript, only audio description. However providing a transcript, is a AAA requirement 1.2.8 Media Alternative (Prerecorded) (Level AAA). It is also recommended by accessibility experts. This is because, by providing a transcript, you cater for more learners with different types of requirements. For example some learners with a cognitive impairment find it easier to read a transcript than listen to content, and deafblind learners will use assistive technology to convert a transcript into braille.
How do I comply?
Provide one of the following for any prerecorded videos with sound in your eLearning resource:
- Audio description in the video
Edit the audio track for your videos, so that you can add audio description. This means that in the pauses in the dialogue or narration, you add description of any other relevant content. This could include the actions and expressions of characters, scene changes, background noises, laughter and off-screen voices etc.
- Descriptive audio track
Create an audio track which includes all words spoken in the video, as well as a description of any other relevant content such as the actions and expressions of characters, background noises, laughter and who is speaking etc. This should be placed close to the video so it is easy for the learner to find.
- Description in the surrounding text
If the video contains the same information that is already provided in the surrounding text, you do not need to provide audio description. This is because the text already provides the description of the video.
- You need to provide one of the alternatives above for any videos with sound to make sure that any learners with a visual impairment can have the same learning experience as a sighted learner. These learners will be able to hear the dialogue in a video, but will not be able to fully understand the meaning of the video without additional descriptive information, such as who is speaking, what is happening in the background etc.
You can edit the audio track for your video to add audio description. This is usually done by adding any description in the pauses in the action, dialogue or narration. Sometimes you do not have enough time in the pauses to give the information that you need to. In this case you can extend the pauses in your video. This is called extended audio description and is a WCAG AAA requirement. 1.2.7 Extended Audio Description (Prerecorded) (Level AAA). The example below demonstrates extended audio description. Standard audio description would be the description provided in the natural pauses in the video.
Extended audio description
How can I test?
Watch the videos in your eLearning resource, and then play them again but only listen to the sound. Make sure that you get the same information as a sighted learner by using one of the techniques described above.
3Play Media: Ultimate guide to audio description
Comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about audio description.
- 3Play Media: Intro to audio description webinar
Sign up to access this webinar.
- WebAIM: Guide to audio description
A brief explanation of audio description.
- University of Southampton: Accessible Audio-visual Media video explainer
Overview of captioning, transcripts, audio description, sign language etc.
|Guideline||1.2 Time based media|
Provide alternatives for time-based media
|WCAG link||1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded) (Level AA)|
|WCAG text||Audio description is provided for all prerecorded video content in synchronized media.|
Fully meet 1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded)
We only give a summary of the Level AA standards on our site. Find out how to fully meet this standard in our book Designing Accessible Learning Content.