Learners who cannot access audio or visual information will need access to the same information in an alternative format.
When using figures or graphs, video, audio, animations or other multimedia in your course, provide equivalent information for those who cannot access the visual or auditory content. These resources may also be useful for learners with cognitive disabilities or from non-English speaking backgrounds.
To meet this guideline, provide:
- Text descriptions for images (such as graphs and charts). The description can be included in the surrounding text and should be descriptive enough to serve as an equivalent to the image.
- Transcripts for pre-recorded audio-only media (e.g. podcasts).
- Captions for pre-recorded videos.
- Alternatives (text or audio description) for the visual content of pre-recorded videos.
- Captions for live videos (e.g. live stream lecture recordings). Note that this may not be feasible in all teaching situations but is a requirement for AA compliance.
Did you know?
Video captions can be a great benefit to learning. They support learners with hearing impairments and non-native English speakers. Over 100 studies have also shown captioning improves comprehension and memory of information presented in videos.
Subtitles provide a text alternative for dialogue, but captions describe all sounds in the audio track. Open captions are burned into a video. Closed captions can be turned off and on in the video player.
Several options exist for close-captioning videos:
- YouTube automatically captions your videos to around 70% accuracy (30 errors in every 100 words). Captions can also be enabled for live-stream videos. Corrections to both text and timing can be made by logging into the YouTube channel as an administrator.
- Microsoft Stream, part of the Office 365 suite, can be configured to auto-generate a caption file. Again, corrections may be needed.
- Amara.org has a good caption editor that you can use to create captions for an existing YouTube video. The Amara editor is also available in Vimeo.
- Some video editing tools, such as Premiere Pro, offer a full set of features for creating captions.
- Instructors with large student cohorts have had success crowd-sourcing video captioning. YouTube has a crowd-sourcing feature that can be turned on in the video settings. Amara can also be used to crowd-source captions. A good quality assurance process is recommended.
- Third-party captioning and transcription services offering up to 99% accuracy typically charge around AUD $3.00 per minute of video. Some services also offer audio description (click for examples).
Gernsbacher, Morton Ann. "Video Captions Benefit Everyone." Policy Insights Behav Brain Sci, 2015 Oct; 2(1): 195–202.
This guideline encompasses the following WCAG 2.0 checkpoints: