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Video and Audio Accessibility

Summary

At Purdue University, videos should include accurate captions and audio descriptions. Audio-only content should include an accurate transcript. When sharing video and audio recordings within your website, don’t use auto-play.

Impact

Video and audio content, such as videos, narrated slideshows, and podcasts are increasingly being used to enrich and deliver online experiences. To meet University policy requirements, video and audio content must include text-based alternatives so all users can access the information.

Captions are a benefit to a wide variety of people, not just people with hearing loss. So, provide captions as often as possible.

Video Captions and Audio Transcripts Benefit Many

Captions and transcripts benefit many learners and are widely used when made available. In a national survey of students with and without disabilities, 98.6% of respondents found closed captions to be helpful. 2

Video captions and audio transcripts provide access to people who:

  • are deaf or hard of hearing
  • are learning another language, or whose native language does not match the audio content (i.e., international students)
  • have learning disabilities or other cognitive impairments
  • learn by taking in information in multiple ways
  • are in quiet environments where audio output is undesirable (i.e., libraries)
  • are in noisy environments where audio may be difficult to hear or understand (i.e., student unions)
  • do not have equipment that supports audio output (such as headphones)
  • are looking for information contained in a video; search engines can find information in captions and transcripts, but not in a video or audio file

Request Captions

Kaltura provides both free and professional captioning options:

Audio Descriptions

Audio descriptions use the audio track to describe what is happening within a video. With some planning, they are relatively easy to include while recording a new video. They can be added to existing videos by recording a narrator's voice in the natural pauses and silences, but this is a newer and expensive method.

Audio descriptions in videos provide access to people who:

  • are blind or have low vision
  • are learning another language, or whose native language does not match the audio content (i.e., international students)
  • have learning disabilities or other cognitive impairments
  • learn by taking in information in multiple ways
  • are in visually stimulating environment where looking at the video may be undesirable (i.e., while exercising or driving)

Review your videos. Does the audio adequately explain what is happening on screen? If not, replace the videos or add audio descriptions.

Thanks to the University of Minnesota for permission to use language from their excellent resource page: 7 Core Skills: Video and Audio. We are very grateful.

Resources:

1. University of Minnesota: Video and Audio
2. Student Uses and Perceptions of Closed Captions and Transcripts, Oregon State University