WCAG – 1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Level A)

1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative: An alternative for time-based media or audio description of the prerecorded video content is provided for synchronized media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such. (Level A)

Requirements

  • Video content (like instructional videos, ads or interviews) must have audio description, or has a text alternative that describes the visual content of the video.

Why is it important?

This ensures that information communicated visually in the video is available to people who cannot see it.

Benefitted disability types

Learners who are blind or have low vision will be able to hear the dialogue or narration in a video. They won’t be able to fully understand what is happening, however, without additional descriptive information such as who is speaking, what is taking place in the background etc.

If you provide a descriptive transcript, someone who is blind or has low vision, can use a screen reader to read this out, or convert it to braille if they are deafblind.
Transcripts can also be useful for learners with a cognitive impairment who may prefer to read rather than listen to content, or for second language learners.

Summary

For videos that are pre-recorded, provide an equivalent text description, or audio description of what happens on screen.

Common mistakes

  • The video does not have audio description or a text alternative.
  • The audio description does not describe important information communicated visually in the video.
  • The text alternative does not describe important information communicated visually in the video.
  • The audio description is not synchronised to complement the audio content of the video.

References

  1. Accessibility Guidelines – Github.io

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