Using video and multimedia

Estimated read time: 1 minute 30 seconds

If there is a user need, short videos can work well to make complex information easier to understand. To make a video accessible, you need closed captions and a transcript.

Captions and transcripts benefit everyone. Transcripts make it easier to produce subtitles in other languages and improve your search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO means your online content will have a better chance of being found and categorized correctly.

Who does this affect?

  • Areeb is hard of hearing and reads captions while he watches videos. 
  • Liya speaks English as an additional language. Transcripts help her to understand what is happening in a video.
  • Kris is doing their professional development course in a loud office. Captions help them not miss any content.

Steps to take

Writing a Transcript

Your transcript should be available on the web page instead of a Word document or PDF. The content should either be on the page that hosts the video or linked below or beside the video to a page with the transcript.

  1. Include all speech content and the speakers’ names
  2. Include relevant non-verbal information in square brackets, such as: [laughing]
  3. At the end of the transcript write ‘End of transcript’

Writing Closed Captioning

Closed captioning (CC) refers to the text version of spoken words that accompany videos or other multimedia.

When creating closed captioning, remember:

  1. Text should appear as close to the same time as the audio as possible
  2. Don’t skip or change words. The CC should be word for word the same as the spoken
  3. Identify who is speaking
  4. Use an appropriate readable font with a solid background
  5. Give users enough time to read the captions
  6. Text should be at the bottom of the screen and cover as little as possible of the visual content
  7. Don’t rely only on auto-captioning or transcript services. Their results need to be reviewed and edited by a human

Supporting resources

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines