Are you providing an optional audio track or text alternative to describe what is happening visually in all video content?
Why is this important?
People with visual impairments are unable to see the images (moving or static) in a video. They can miss important information or context setting clues because they are only able to listen to the accompanying audio. Providing text or audio descriptions of visual components can help users access and understand the content in its entirety.
Whom does it benefit?
As a person who is blind,
I want an audio or text description of what is happening on the screen in a video
so that I can fully understand the content.
As a person with a visual impairment,
I want the option to play an audio description track of what is happening on the screen in a video
so that I can understand important information that is on the screen, like labels and values in charts or diagrams.
What should you do?
For video content that contains both audio and visual components:
- Provide a text description of the visual component in a video.
- or -
- Include a second audio track (“audio description”) that describes what is happening visually on screen.
How do you do it?
Providing a text based alternative
Along with the video media, provide text-based content (inline or downloadable) which includes descriptions of all visual AND auditory information in the media. A true alternative for video media provides a running description of ALL that is going on in the content.
Providing audio description
Providing an audio description means that the original media file will need to be altered. A media file with both audio and visual content will need an additional audio track added to describe what is happening visually in the media. See bullets below for key points on providing an audio description.
- Add an additional narration soundtrack (an audio description) that describes important visual details that cannot be understood from the main soundtrack alone.
- The audio description should provide information about actions, characters, scene changes, on-screen text, and other important visual content.
- In standard audio description, the narration is added during existing pauses in dialogue. If the pauses are too short to add narration, include a second audio track without causing audio overlap between the two tracks, pauses need to be created to accommodate the audio descriptions.
- Where all of the video information is already provided in existing audio, no additional audio description is necessary.
Need technical guidance?
Technical guidance is available for implementing this Success Criterion at the Understanding Success Criterion 1.2.3: Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded) page.
Additional resources to help you