Creating Accessible Audio and Video

Information on this page relates to creating accessible audio and video content. There are five requirements that agencies must meet for time-based media (video, audio and animation) at WCAG 2.0 Levels A and AA; four of these are for pre-recorded audio and video and one for live audio.

Please note that all other WCAG 2.0 Level A and Level AA accessibility requirements must also be met to claim conformance.

E-standards Accessible HTML5 Media Player (version 2)

Kangan Institute's "How to create an accessible video player with HTML5 (MS Word 600KB)" guide, an output from their 2013 Emerging Technology Trial, describes techniques and provides step by step instructions for creating accessible video. This trial received funding for a second stage, and was then extended again to develop an accessible HTML5 video player.

Deafness Forum of Australia Captioning AwardIn October 2014, the player underwent some further enhancements, and the work was recognised with an award from the Deafness Forum of Australia: the 2014 Online Captioning & Digital Innovation Award presented “in recognition of the initiative to consistently provide captions on a website or mobile app, or the use of technology in in an innovative way, to enhance use or awareness of captions”. Media Access Australia nominated the Player, which won over Yahoo 7 nominated for being the first commercial TV station to caption its catch-up TV, and St Stephen’s School in WA for captioning all online content.

Enhancements implemented in addition to the features in version one of the player (below) are:

  • A high contrast focus indicator has been added to the closed caption appearance settings interface.
  • Video published on YouTube can be streamed through the player, removing the requirement for video hosting. Note that any existing closed caption files on YouTube are not used; publishers must generate their own in .vtt format. Initially it was hoped that support for Vimeo could also be added, but the API is not complete so that feature had to be abandoned for the present.
  • Code libraries were updated to current versions (as at October 2014).
  • The player now accepts MP3 files, so can be used as an accessible audio player. Closed caption files (.vtt) are still supported.
  • There is now support for multiple closed caption tracks, allowing for alternative languages. All code was updated to reflect this change, so that changing the language also controls the language of the printed transcript. (Print media CSS generates a transcript from the closed caption file, including the option to include images at points defined by the publisher.
  • A bug in the Flash fall back resulted in the full screen control being removed from the Flash controls. Flash is required for video running locally and in certain older browsers.

The player is still HTML5 compliant, meaning it will still work even if all JavaScript fails, unless using the Flash fall back which does require JavaScript.

The Player source and example files are available on GitHub, or please view the demonstration page.

The latest Github commit (14 December 2014) releases control to mobile OS media player, allowing

E-standards Accessible HTML5 Video Player

Kangan Institute's "How to create an accessible video player with HTML5 (MS Word 600KB)" guide, an output from their 2013 Emerging Technology Trial describes techniques and provides step by step instructions for creating accessible video. This trial received funding for a second stage, and was then extended again to develop an accessible HTML5 video player.

We believe the player has the following attributes:

  • Keyboard accessible (including Closed Caption appearance settings)
  • Screen reader accessible
  • Font colour, size and typeface for captions can be personalised
  • Support for audio description

Restrictions:

  • Requires that JavaScript is enabled
  • Does not work on mobile devices (which take control with their native players)
  • Requires server support for the following MIME types:
    • audio/mp4 .mp4 .m4a
    • audio/mpeg .mp1 .mp2 .mp3 .mpg .mpeg
    • audio/ogg .oga .ogg
    • audio/wav .wav
    • audio/webm .webm
    • video/mp4 .mp4 .m4v
    • video/ogg .ogv
    • video/webm .webm
    • text/vtt .vtt
    • text/x-component.htc .htc
    • application/x-shockwave-flash swf

Known issues we hope to address:

  • Focus indicator on Closed Caption appearance settings needs better contrast
  • Bug which results in two instances of the player controls after returning from full screen video in some browsers.

Download the player and sample files (19.5MB inc sample video/audio), or see the player in action . We welcome your feedback.

Version 2 of the media player is undergoing final testing. Feel free to try it out on the staging page.

The player is distributed under the following license:
© Commonwealth of Australia 2013, Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License.

 

Pre-recorded Audio and Video

Pennsylvania State University's AccessAbility website details some techniques for creating Video Captions and Audio Transcripts to conform with WCAG 2.0 AA requirements for pre-recorded audio and video.

Live Audio Content

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative details sufficient techniques to provide accessible live audio content to meet the requirement for live audio content.