Media Alternative (Prerecorded)
Success Criterion 1.2.8 Level AAA

Are you providing a text document with all visual and auditory information as an alternative for any media file?

Why is this Important?

A person with both visual and auditory disabilities (“deaf-blind”) has difficulty or may find it impossible to read captions and hear dialogue or audio descriptions. When a descriptive transcript is provided as an alternative to a media file, the person will have full access to the content presented.

Whom does it benefit?

Example 1:

As a person who is deaf and blind,
I want a text description of the visual and auditory parts of a video
so that I can use my refreshable braille display to access all content.

Example 2:

As a person who is deaf and has low vision,
I want a text alternative to closed captioning
so that I can use a screen magnifier to see what is happening in the video.

Example 3:

As a person who has a hearing impairment and learning disability,
I want a text-based transcript of the video
so that I can read at my own pace, rather than rely on synchronized captions.

What should you do?

Provide all visual and auditory information in a descriptive transcript including:

  • All spoken words as well as sounds, such as laughter, music, etc.
  • Everything that is happening visually on the screen including actions, characters, expressions, speaker identification, on-screen text, scene change, etc.
  • Hyperlinks or whatever is needed to provide access to any interaction that is part of the synchronized media presentation. For example, “press now to answer the question.”

How do you do it?

  • Present the visual and auditory content in the descriptive transcript in the exact same sequence as the media. The descriptive transcript should read more like a book and will provide more detail than audio description.
  • Ensure that the document meets all WCAG 2.0 guidelines (e.g., contrast, heading structure, headings and labels)
  • Place a properly labelled link to the transcript adjacent to the media location. The link can appear before or after the media.

Need technical guidance?

Additional resources to help you: