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Video Accessibility: A Comprehensive Guide

How often do you consider the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities when it comes to accessing online videos? Imagine a person with hearing impairments trying to watch a video without any form of textual support. How would they be able to fully understand and engage with the content? This is where video accessibility becomes crucial.  

Read through as we explore the power of video accessibility and discover how it revolutionizes communication, fosters inclusivity, and engages diverse audiences. 

What is Accessibility 

Accessibility refers to the design and development of websites, apps, and other digital content in a way that ensures people with disabilities can use them. It aims to remove barriers and provide equal opportunities for all users, regardless of their abilities. This includes individuals with visual impairments, hearing impairments, mobility limitations, cognitive disabilities, and more.  

Why Video Accessibility Matters 

Video accessibility matters for businesses to create an inclusive communications, avoid legal risks, and reach a wider audience: 

  • Creating an Inclusive Communication Environment: By ensuring that all viewers can seamlessly comprehend your media content, profound inclusions in dialogues and conversations are fostered.  
  • Meeting Legal Requirements: Incorporating the elements of video accessibility protects your company from legal risks and potential non-compliance penalties , seamlessly aligned with laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).  
  • Reaching a Wider Audience: Video accessibility garners an expanded market footprint by engaging potentially overlooked demographics. It bridges the gap, offering equal consumption opportunities to everyone.  

Benefits of Video Accessibility 

Making your video content accessible to all offers a competitive edge in business. By implementing video accessibility, these added benefits become your business assets. 

  • Improved User Experience: Seamless interaction combined with inclusive features can significantly boost user satisfaction while navigating your video content.  
  • Enhanced SEO: Accessible videos, complete with transcriptions, closed captions and accurate metadata, are rich in keywords, providing ample fodder for search engine algorithms. This significantly enhances your site’s discoverability, ensuring your content reaches a wider audience.  
  • Increased Engagement and Conversion: Accessible videos not only grab viewers’ attention more effectively but also guide them towards making a purchase more smoothly.  

Key Components of Video Accessibility 

Mastering the essential elements of accessible video content is a vital step towards reaching a wider audience. It goes beyond just meeting legal requirements, but also enhancing user experience, SEO, and engagement. 

Closed Captions 

Closed captions are fundamental to video accessibility, serving as a visual representation of the audio within a video. This feature not only aids those with hearing impairments but also amplifies the effectiveness of your content by ensuring clear and precise message conveyance. 

  • Provide clarity in noisy environments or settings with sound restrictions  
  • Increase comprehension by supplementing audio cues with visual cues  
  • Enable viewers to engage with your content in their preferred language through translated captions  
  • Enhance SEO with searchable text embedded in video content  

Audio Descriptions 

Unlocking the potential of videos with audio descriptions significantly enhances content accessibility. This simple yet powerful tool narrates intense visual elements to those with visual impairments, thus making videos more inclusive. 

  • Cater to a seamless video consumption experience depicting on-screen activities and enhancing comprehension and engagement.  
  • Bolster the multisensory aspect of communication, extending its reach to consumers otherwise isolated by visual-centric content.  


Promoting inclusivity goes beyond having captions for your videos. Implementing optimized video transcripts is just as essential. Transcripts make your content consumable in various contexts, serving visually challenged individuals and non-native speakers to fully grasp your message. 

  • Offer an alternative format for information absorption. Transcripts allow users to cross-reference with video content, enhancing their understanding and providing added value to your video content.  
  • Maximize your content’s SEO impact, contributing to improved online visibility and reach. Search engines cannot see your videos but can read transcripts.  

Accessible Player and Controls 

An accessible video player offers a significant boost to inclusive communication. It implies that all users, regardless of their abilities, can independently navigate, play, pause, and adjust the video elements. 

  • Apply adaptable controls to be easily operated via both touch and keyboard interfaces for broader user engagement.  
  • Improve user interactivity with controls for video speed, captions, audio descriptions, and volume. They allow users to customize the video experience as per their unique preferences.  
  • Seamlessly integrate with assistive technologies. Screen readers and voice commands should be able to function flawlessly, ensuring every user can participate fully.  

Text Alternatives for Visual Elements 

Text alternatives for visuals play a significant role in enhancing video accessibility. The alternative text (alt text), often used for images and graphics, provides an exact descriptive explanation for those who cannot perceive the visual content. 

  • Make your content discoverable and accessible to users who browse with screen readers or other similar tools.  
  • Amplify the message with alt text and also provide an efficient way of communication to diverse audience groups.  

Color Contrast 

Garnering greater audience engagement through color contrast can sometimes be an overlooked practice. A well-executed scheme helps viewers, including those with visibility problems, easily comprehend the content. 

  • Enhance user experience with this silent player in accessible video communication, increasing your video’s overall appeal.  
  • Integrate considerate color contrast that positively affects your SEO. Search engines give preference to accessible content, increasing your digital visibility and ultimately fostering a more inclusive communication environment.  

WCAG 2.1 and level AA standards 

One of the key guidelines for web accessibility is the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 from W3C, which sets the standard for creating inclusive digital experiences. 

WCAG 2.1 provides a comprehensive framework to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities. It offers a set of guidelines and success criteria that companies can follow to achieve different levels of accessibility, including level A, AA, and AAA. 

To achieve level AA standards, companies need to meet a specific set of criteria outlined in WCAG 2.1. Here are some key considerations: 

1. Perceivable: 

  • Provide text alternatives for non-text content such as images and videos, so that screen readers can read them aloud.  
  • Ensure that all content can be presented in different ways, including through assistive technologies like screen magnifiers or braille displays.  
  • Make sure that the content is easy to see and hear, with sufficient color contrast and clear audio.  

2. Operable: 

  • Ensure that all functionality can be accessed through a keyboard interface, as some individuals may not be able to use a mouse.  
  • Provide enough time for users to read and interact with content, and avoid time limits that may be difficult for some individuals to meet.  
  • Make sure that all interactive elements, such as buttons and links, are easily distinguishable and can be activated using different input methods.  

3. Understandable: 

  • Make sure that the content and navigation are clear and predictable, so users can easily understand and navigate through the website.  
  • Use clear and concise language, avoiding jargon or complex terminology that may be difficult for some individuals to understand.  
  • Provide instructions and feedback that are easy to comprehend and follow.  

4. Robust: 

  • Ensure that the website or platform can be interpreted correctly by different assistive technologies and devices, such as screen readers or voice recognition software.  
  • Use standard HTML and other web technologies to ensure compatibility and interoperability across different devices and browsers.  

How to Make Videos Accessible in 3 Steps 

Now that we understand the importance of video accessibility and the essential elements it entails, it’s time to explore how we can make our videos accessible.  

Choosing an Accessible Video Platform 

Investing in the right video platform guarantees top-notch accessibility. Equipping yourself with a platform that prioritizes accessibility not only complies with legal requirements but ensure your content caters to all, irrespective of their ability level. 

For example, Dailymotion prioritize high accessibility and updates player to align it with international standards. Dailymotion’s video solution has accessible players and controls, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the content they love. Check out more in detail here.  

Creating Accessible Video Content 

Incorporating video accessibility can significantly transform your content strategy. It shifts your focus towards creating universally designed content, making your videos accessible while enhancing user engagement and SEO. To achieve video accessibility, you can make sure you tick all the checklist mentioned: 

  • Closed captions  
  • Audio descriptions  
  • Transcripts  
  • Text alternatives for visual elements  
  • Color contrast  

Testing and Monitoring Accessibility 

Effective testing strategies ensure that all users, regardless of their abilities, can easily navigate through your video content. Use accessibility evaluation tools and user testing to gauge accessibility levels. 

Routine monitoring of your video accessibility is a powerful tool for maintaining a competitive edge. It enables you to promptly address any issues, ensuring your audience continuously enjoys an inclusive video experience. 

Engaging with accessibility auditing services can provide insightful feedback. They assess if your videos conform to accessibility guidelines; hence, you can effectively adjust your strategies if necessary. 

Third-party evaluations offer an external perspective on your video’s accessibility. They reveal intricacies that you may have missed, allowing you to improve user experience and increase SEO performance. 

Marrying testing and monitoring processes ensures that your video content meets emerging accessibility standards. It’s a proactive approach that enhances your reputation, opens new opportunities, and builds customer trust. 


What are the video accessibility standards? 

Video accessibility standards include guidelines such as WCAG 2.0, which provide best practices for making videos accessible to individuals with disabilities.  

Why is video accessible? 

Video accessibility is essential to ensure inclusivity and equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities to access and engage with video content.  

How do I make a video accessible for visually impaired? 

To make a video accessible for visually impaired individuals, features such as audio descriptions, screen reader compatibility, and high contrast visuals should be incorporated.