Audio/Video Features

As the BBC point out in their multimedia accessibility guidelines  “many multimedia technologies provide challenges in making materials which are accessible for some audiences.” Skills for Access also state that “Making multimedia e-learning optimally accessible is not about ticking a checklist! All our advice encourages a thoughtful and analytic approach to addressing accessibility issues. Accessible e-learning is achieved by engagement, not by formula.”

No checklist can ensure total accessibility of multimedia elearning resources but taking a flexible and analytical approach to any complex online materials can usually resolve issues and result in multiple formats that help all learners, not just those using assistive technologies.

The checks used for Web2Access sites are very basic and it should be noted they are not ideal.  Offering alternatives for multimedia such as animations or rich video films with action, conversations and a wide variety of scenes can rarely be adequately explained with text descriptions, captions or subtitles.


There are really no options but to check manually for alternative representations for multimedia content.  Alternative text for images can be checked automatically when they are included within the code as has been described under Image ALT Attributes.

Ellen - Using Assistive Technology YouTube video with captions

Videos, animations and audio files or podcasts etc require captioning, subtitles and audio descriptions or text descriptions.  You will see the captions or subtitles on the video or animation, the transcript or text description is usually seen below the video or as part of the content. There are times when an audio file is supplied for text that is a graphic.



This technique may be used to test the following sections of best practice.

Document Section Heading
WCAG 2.1 1.2.1 Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded) More Info
WCAG 2.1 1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded) More Info
WCAG 2.1 1.2.4 Captions (Live) More Info