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Creating Accessible Media
An accessible digital multimedia presentation should always contain the following features:
- Captions, which provide a textual equivalent for all audio
- Audio descriptions, which describe important visual elements of the presentation
- A transcript, so braille users can read the contents of the presentation, and so anyone can scan the contents of a presentation prior to viewing it
There are two digital multimedia formats that support the inclusion of audio descriptions and closed captions in digital multimedia presentations: Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) and Synchronized Accessible Media Interchange (SAMI).
Transcripts, captions, and descriptions make media accessible to all users:
- Provide captions. Captions make audible content accessible to people who can’t hear, and more comprehensible to everyone. Do not rely on the auto-captioning feature provided by platforms such as YouTube. In most cases, the accuracy is not sufficient to be useful.
- Put the content in the words. Consider how to convey concepts in a way that will be understood by people who can’t see. For example, a video of a presentation will be more accessible if the speaker describes the content of the slides.
- Use audio description. When essential visual information is not described in the video, one approach is to provide narrative describing visual information. The audio narrative plays during the natural pauses in the video.
- Provide a media transcript. A text-based alternative includes a running description of all visual information, including descriptions of scene changes and the actions and expressions of actors, as well as a transcript of all non-speech sound and spoken dialogue.
Resources for Accessible Media
The Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL, pronounced "smile") enables simple authoring of interactive audiovisual presentations. This link provides information on how to create presentations using this format.
Use this checklist to help build accessibility into your process no matter your role or stage in a project.
Finding Accessible Youtube content
Search for videos with captions
Videos with captions available will have a “CC” icon underneath the video summary in search results. If you’d like search results to only show videos with captions available, enable this search filter:
- Enter your keywords in the YouTube search bar
- Click the Filters button
- Click CC (closed caption)
Making Google Products Accessible
Here are links to a few such as:
Creating Video and Multimedia
It is usually not difficult to make video and multimedia accessible to viewers with sensory impairments, but special considerations should be made at the design phase to ensure complete access to everyone. This resource from the University of Washington DO-IT Center outlines factors to consider when creating videos and multimedia projects.
Accessible Social Media
Provides information on how to address accessibility issues with social media.