The idea of this guide is to help you create videos that are accessible to everyone and that your content does not leave anyone out.
In some countries around the world it is becoming mandatory to include certain elements in videos that help all users to understand the message of your audiovisual content.
So no matter what type of disability your audience has, be it hearing, cognitive or psychomotor, with this type of video you will be able to include everyone.
What is an accessible video?
When we talk about creating an accessible video, we are not only referring to adding subtitles and that's it.
An accessible video includes many more points to take into account.
In principle, we could define an accessible video as an audiovisual that is created and designed to include people with disabilities such as deafness or hearing problems, mild to severe cognitive disabilities, reduced physical and motor skills, among others.
Although this is the main purpose, it also greatly helps people who do not have any type of disability. Accessible video can also be played in environments or at times when audio cannot be heard or is not preferred.
What are its main advantages and characteristics?
Undoubtedly, the main advantage of creating accessible content is to make everyone part of your message.
This not only allows you to increase the number of users who can see, understand and stay in the video, but you will also be part of the change and inclusion without leaving anyone out.
That said, creating accessible videos will also allow you to increase the audience for your content, as well as the goals you have set for it.
Accessible content will increase views, engagement, time spent and also the appreciation and closeness of users with your brand.
Another great advantage is that accessible content, for example with transcripts, helps SEO. It will allow search engines to crawl and rank the content, giving it more visibility.
Who benefits from video and accessible media?
As I mentioned before, the whole community benefits from accessible videos and content.
The main ones are:
- People with hearing impairment
- People with cognitive impairments
- People with physical disabilities, e.g. reading disabilities
- People who do not want to play a video
- People who cannot hear the audio of the video
- People from other countries who do not speak your language
- To the content creator
- To the community in general
5 ways to make a video more accesible
Here are 5 ways to make content more accessible. Let's get started.
1. Create an accessible video content
Creating an accessible video content has to comply with certain premises at a technical level.
The first thing is to make a careful selection of colors that have a certain contrast in order to be able to see the images, graphics or texts that are included.
The second thing is that the texts inside the video must be easily readable. They must be placed in the right area, easy to read and with an adequate size. It should also remain on screen long enough to be read without problems by everyone.
Thirdly, screen flickering should be avoided at all costs, as it can cause seizures in people with epilepsy. That said, avoid more than 3 flickers per second in the video, and if possible, avoid flickering.
2. Choose the correct video format
There are some points to check regarding the video format.
The first thing you should check is if the format in which you export the video is current, allows it to be uploaded to online platforms and if it can be uploaded and played without problems.
In addition, the video should allow you to add transcripts, subtitles and descriptions for people who cannot hear or see.
Having accomplished all this, it's time to move on to the next point.
3. An accessible video player is essential
Vimeo and YouTube are two widely used platforms that allow you to play accessible videos in a great way.
However, there are hundreds of alternative platforms or websites that may have limitations when it comes to uploading this type of content.
Make sure that your video is played only on video players that allow this type of audiovisual content.
4. Transcribe your video content
Transcribing your videos has many benefits. In addition to benefiting people affected by hearing loss, it can also benefit people who do not speak your language as their first language.
Listening to dialogue can be complicated in a language you are not so good at. However, reading the same dialogue is increasingly fluent.
Transcribed video content is also great for people who need to consume the content, but may not want to watch the whole video again.
Having text where you can search for a certain term or sentence makes this much easier.
Unlike videos, transcripts provide text, which allows search engines like Google to crawl and index it.
Therefore, transcribing videos can be a great way to boost SEO. But why would a company want this?
A properly indexed video or online content will allow you to rank higher. Which allows more people to see it and click on it. This, in turn, can generate more visitors overall and potentially more customers.
5. Offer closed captions
Online subtitles generally take the form of closed captions and are usually marked with a CC logo.
They not only include the dialogue, but also provide information describing what is happening in the video.
This makes it easier for the viewer to situate themselves in the video and better understand each moment of the video.
That said, closed captions also offer the ability to be turned on and off as needed or desired. They can also offer translations in several languages.
6. Use open captions
Unlike closed captions, open captions are recorded in the video itself and cannot be removed in any way.
Therefore, there is no option to disable the caption, or for the audience to influence or change it.
This type of text is great for videos to upload to social networks, as the audience can see the video and the captions, even when they scroll past their feed.
But even open captions serve the same function as support for people affected by hearing loss.
7. Standard audio description
Standard audio description is nothing more than a voice added to the original video that allows people with low vision or no vision to hear the context of the video.
This audio description helps the user who cannot see the video in its entirety or who has difficulty doing so.
8. Extended audio description
This type of description is made by making a cut to the original video and including an audio description that explains something of what is happening in the video.
Unlike the standard description, here a pause must be made in the video, so at the end it will be longer than the original.
9. Use sign language, if possible
Sign language is increasingly seen on television, however it is difficult to extend it to the web.
This is because sign language lacks international standards and each country usually has its own version.
However, whenever possible, adding sign language for your local or mainstream audience is a great choice.
Making your video content available to a wider audience is always positive and doesn't really have any negative effects.
It is something that benefits you, as more people have the opportunity to engage with your material.
While it benefits people who need more video content that is available to them and meets their specific needs.
Therefore, it is a good idea to transcribe your videos so that more and more people can participate in them or enjoy the material at other times.
Or to offer closed captioning or open captioning in your videos so that more and more people can participate in them. Greater accessibility is always a good thing.