Table of Contents

    Video content like instructional videos must have audio description, unless it already has a text alternative. This ensures that information communicated visually in the video is available to people who cannot see it.

    Accessibility Requirements 1.2.3 Audio description or media alternative (A)

    • Video content is audio described, or has a text alternative that describes the visual content of the video.

    Common mistakes for 1.2.3 Audio description or media alternative (A)

    • 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.

    Techniques for 1.2.3 Audio description or media alternative (A)

    HTML Techniques 

    H96: Using the track element to provide audio descriptions

    Your site doesn’t include support for the Accordion Item block. You can try installing the block, convert it to a Custom HTML block, or remove it entirely.

    Common Failures for 1.2.3 Audio description or media alternative (A)

    • The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of Success Criterion 1.2.3 by the WCAG Working Group.

    FAQs about Audio description or media alternative (A)

    Purpose of Audio description or media alternative (A)

    Text and audio descriptions provide a means for people who cannot see the video to understand the video content.
    Some types of learning disabilities affect visual processing, text and audio descriptions provide an alternative way to understand the video content.
    This rule covers the requirements of both WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria 1.2.3 and 1.2.5, that is why a text description of the video content cannot be used to satisfy this rule.

    What checks we do on Audio description or media alternative

    When audio descriptions are enabled on the media player, check to make sure the audio description can be heard.
    If there is a audio description make sure the description accurately describes the video content.
    If there is a text description make sure the description accurately describes the video content.

    Why Audio description or media alternative ?

    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.

    What is Descriptive transcript?

    Add a transcript to your eLearning resource which is easy for the learner to find. It should include all words spoken in the video, as well as a description of any other relevant content such as the actions and expressions of characters, background noises, laughter and who is speaking etc. If the video has any interaction such as taking the learner to a web page with suplementary information then the transcript should provide the same functionality e.g. with a hyperlink.

    What is Descriptive audio track?

    This would be an audio track which contains the same information as you would provide in a descriptive transcript. As with a descriptive transcript, it should also be easy for the learner to find.

    What is Description in the surrounding text

    If the video contains the same information that is already provided in the surrounding text, you do not need to provide a transcript, descriptive audio track, or audio description. This is because the text already provides the same information as the video conveys. It must be clear to learners that this is the case.

    Related to Audio description or media alternative (A)

    Useful resources for 1.2.3 Audio description or media alternative (A)

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