Captions (Prerecorded)
Success Criterion 1.2.2 Level A


If your site or application has video content, are captions available?

Why Is This Important

For video content that includes audio, providing captions for the audio portion of the content, speaker identification, and other sounds will provide access for those who cannot hear the audio.

Whom does it benefit?

Example 1:

As a person who is hard of hearing,
I want to read captions describing dialogue and sounds in videos
so that I can watch video content without missing the audible content.

Example 2:

As a person who is deaf and whose first language is sign language,
I want to read captions describing dialogue and sounds in videos
so that I can understand the audio content of the video and reinforce what I am learning about the structure of written language.

What should you do?

  • When developing multimedia content that includes both audio and video, ensure that a synchronized caption file is also created and provided with the media.
  • Use an accessible media player, such as the Smart Pearson Player , capable of playing the caption file in synchronization with the audio track.

How do you do it?

You can add captions and subtitles either manually with free tools, or working with a vendor to manage larger volumes of content. Below are two examples.

Captioning a video yourself

  1. Upload your final audio/video to an internal or external hosting site. (e.g., YouTube)
  2. Create captions by transcribing the audio portion of the video file. The caption file must include sequenced time intervals.
  3. Add the caption file you created for the video to the same hosting site. (Services like YouTube will do this for you.)
  4. Provide anaccessible media player to play the video.

    • Do not rely solely on automatic captioning. Automatically-generated captions often do not meet user needs or accessibility requirements, unless they are confirmed to be fully accurate. Usually they need significant editing.
    • There are a few “do-it-yourself̵ tools to create a synchronized caption file that can be found on the web.

Working with a caption vendor (cost associated)

  1. Contact a caption services vendor. Vendor will assist with project details, cost estimates, and setting up an account.
  2. Upload the video file(s) to be captioned into their system.
  3. Vendor will create a caption file for each video.
  4. Determine if the videos and caption files will be internally or externally hosted.
  5. Provide an accessible media player to play the video.

Need technical guidance?

Additional Resources to help you: