Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) are a set of guidelines published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) which guide best practice in creating accessible website content. The guidelines cover a range of principles that, when complied with, make your content user-friendly and accessible to people with disability, including deafness and hearing loss, learning disability, blindness and low vision, mobility impairment and cognitive disability.

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Levels of Compliance

Under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, media such as recorded videos, audio clips and live-streams are required to be made accessible through closed captions, transcripts and audio description. The extent to which these need to be made accessible depends on which level of compliance is legislated in your country of operation. Under WCAG 2.0, there are 3 levels of compliance providing increasing levels of accessibility – Level A, Level AA and Level AAA. The most commonly regulated level of compliance is WCAG 2.0 AA.

Examples of WCAG

In complying with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, there are numerous methods of making your videos accessible. Check out the examples below.

Closed Captions

Spoken dialogue and sound effects are displayed as text on screen for viewers to read. Closed captions can be turned on and off by the viewer.

Open Captions

Spoken dialogue and sound effects are permanently displayed as text on screen, and unlike closed captions, they cannot be turned off

Standard Audio Description

A recorded voice-over narrates the visual elements of the video. The audio description is inserted into the existing gaps in the dialogue.

Extended Audio Description

A recorded voice-over narrates the visual elements of the video. When there is not a sufficient gap in the dialogue, the video is paused to allow for the narration. These pauses extend the length of the video.

Transcript

A written record of the spoken dialogue in a video or audio clip.
DOWNLOAD SAMPLE TRANSCRIPT

Media Alternative Transcript

A written record of spoken dialogue, with the addition of descriptions of visual elements.
DOWNLOAD SAMPLE MEDIA ALTERNATIVE TRANSCRIPT

Who needs to comply with WCAG?

image of a laptop user

Under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, media such as recorded videos, audio clips and live-streams are required to be made accessible through closed captions, transcripts and audio description.

The extent to which these need to be made accessible depends on which level of compliance is legislated in your country of operation. Under WCAG 2.0, there are 3 levels of compliance providing increasing levels of accessibility – Level A, Level AA and Level AAA. The most commonly regulated level of compliance is WCAG 2.0 AA.

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