by Penny Everett, VerseOne Accessibility Specialist
Following on from last week's blog, I am now looking at the next Success Criteria listed in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
1.2.1: Audio-only and video-only (Pre-recorded)
The rule of thumb is that Content Authors/Editors need to ensure they are offering an equivalent experience for deaf/blind users to that of other users.
So how can you do that?
Well, the simple answer is to start with a verbatim transcript for the audio on the same web page or a link to it on another page. This will enable a deaf person to read it.
That’s all well and good for the audio only, but what about video only, i.e. video with no sound?
This is much more complex and totally depends on the topic of the video. So you will have to make a judgement—is it reasonable to expect you to explain in writing to a blind person what the video is showing?
For instance, imagine a video with no sound showing how to make a cake...obviously everyone would benefit from written instructions. But what about a video which shows you a cuckoo disposing of its adopted siblings? In order to give a blind person an equivalent experience, the explanation could be quite lengthy. Perhaps it would be easier in this case to consider adding a voice-over. Here again, everyone would benefit and you could transcribe the voice-over.
This is all very time-consuming, but bear in mind the word "reasonable". Has your organisation got the resources for this, or do you feel justified in stating "If you are having any difficulty with viewing the video, please contact our..."? Just remember that barrister—the one you could meet in a Court of Law.