Time-based media: WCAG 2.0 for content writers

Guidelines for time-based media, in other words audio and video content, are the only new bunch of guidelines in WCAG 2.0. Others existed before in a different form.

Other content doesn't change or move as you watch or hear it. Instead, your eyes move across print and images as you absorb information.

But audio and video travels past your ears and eyes, and you have to catch it on the hop.

This produces a different accessibility challenge. For various reasons, some people can't perceive your audio or video.

You need to think first:

  • What kind of video or audio content is this?
  • What is its purpose?
  • What will people miss if they can't perceive it?

At the most basic level, every audio or video file needs a title that describes and identifies the content. At least then people know what they're missing.

Giving people a valid alternative experience can be a bit more complicated. For example:

  • Podcasts tend to be rich in information. Ideally you'll provide a complete transcript. A transcript may also be appropriate for videos with a simple and static visual experience but lots of information—for instance, a talking head.
  • Some videos contain lots of information. Then you'll usually need to include captions synchronising what people see with the moment they see it. Ask your video expert how to do this. But note that YouTube can do this automatically, provided your video has a transcript and clear audio.

When you want to include audio and video in the content you provide, you need to be aware of these guidelines. Get help from your web or video team.

Read the relevant guidelines: follow links to more help.


Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine

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Tweets that mention Writing web content for government? Need to know this. Time-based media: WCAG 2.0 for content writers. Contented blog. -- Topsy.com
Tweets that mention Writing web content for government? Need to know this. Time-based media: WCAG 2.0 for content writers. Contented blog. -- Topsy.com

May 12, 2010

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Contented.com, Shirley Hall. Shirley Hall said: RT @AliceandRachel: Writing web content for government? Need to know this. Time-based media: WCAG 2.0 for content writers. Contented blog. http://bit.ly/aiRCPm […]

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