Audio, Video and Slideshow Guidelines

The University of Chicago follows WCAG 2.1 Level AA guidelines for digital assets. Relevant guidelines regarding time-based media content are listed below, with specific success criteria in parentheses. Please follow links to the W3C website for full guidance and exceptions.

Captions, transcripts, and audio descriptions

Prerecorded, synchronized multimedia (audio and video)

  1. Provide captions
    • “Captions are provided for all prerecorded audio content in synchronized media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such.” (1.2.2)
  2. Provide audio description
    • “Audio description is provided for all prerecorded video content in synchronized media.” (1.2.5)
    • Note: This guideline can be met by describing all visual content critical to comprehension within the audio track itself; if such content is not included in the audio track, provide a separate audio description.

Prerecorded video only

  1. Provide a transcript or audio track
    • “Either an alternative for time-based media or an audio track is provided that presents equivalent information for prerecorded video-only content.” (1.2.1)

Prerecorded audio only

  1. Provide a transcript or other text-based material
    • “An alternative for time-based media is provided that presents equivalent information for prerecorded audio-only content.” (1.2.1)

Live synchronized multimedia (audio and video)

  1. Provide real-time captions
    • “Captions are provided for all live audio content in synchronized media.” (1.2.4)
    • Note: Accessibility can be achieved by describing all visual content critical to comprehension within the audio track itself.

Other accessibility guidelines for time-based media

  1. Design content in a way that is not known to cause seizures or physical reactions
    • “Web pages do not contain anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period, or the flash is below the general flash and red flash thresholds.” (2.3.1)
  2. Any text, controls, and background must comply with WCAG text and color contrast guidelines. Refer to WCAG 2.1 for information on these and other pertinent guidelines:
  3. Use a media player that meets accessibility guidelines, including:
    • Keyboard accessible
      • “Make all functionality available from a keyboard.” (2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.4)
      • Suggestions: Panopto, Able Player
    • Visible focus indicator
      • “Any keyboard operable user interface has a mode of operation where the keyboard focus indicator is visible.” (2.4.7)
    • Audio controls
      • “If any audio on a Web page plays automatically for more than 3 seconds, either a mechanism is available to pause or stop the audio, or a mechanism is available to control audio volume independently from the overall system volume level.” (1.4.2)
    • Controls to pause, stop, or hide
      • “For any moving, blinking or scrolling information that (1) starts automatically, (2) lasts more than five seconds, and (3) is presented in parallel with other content, there is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop, or hide it unless the movement, blinking, or scrolling is part of an activity where it is essential; and”
      • “For any auto-updating information that (1) starts automatically and (2) is presented in parallel with other content, there is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop, or hide it or to control the frequency of the update unless the auto-updating is part of an activity where it is essential.” (2.2.2)