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Creating Accessible Video

When creating videos, there are basic elements that must be included to ensure accessibility guidelines are followed.

  • Captions
  • Transcript
  • Audio Description


Captions convey video content in a text format and are synchronized with the video as it plays. Captions make video content searchable, and make it possible to create interactive video transcripts. Video captions are required to meet accessibility standards. Captioning video content results in a caption file which must be added to the video. Specific steps must be taken to create captions. These steps are unique to authoring tools and are explained in specific tutorials.


A transcript is a complete text version of the video content. All spoken audio, on-screen text, and descriptions of key visual information should be included in the transcript. During the captioning process, a transcript can also be created, which should then be linked to where the video is displayed.

Audio Description

An audio description is a separate audio track that describes visual content not verbally presented in the video. On screen text such as the name and title of the presenter is commonly described in an audio description. Audio descriptions can be developed by the content creator or outsourced to a third party vendor. During the captioning process, a simple audio description text file can also be created, which should then be linked to the video in the authoring tool. The American Council of the Blind has compiled a comprehensive list of vendors who provide audio description services. The audio file created by the vendor should then be linked to where the video is displayed.

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