Multimedia Accessibility Overview

The basics

Multimedia accessibility usually requires two main components.

  • Videos must have captions
  • The video player must also be accessible

There are occasions where additional features are needed, like described video, where someone describes what is happening in the video so people with visual impairments can know what is occurring.

Creating captions

Creating captions for recorded video is a three step process.

  1. Create a text transcript of the audio portion of the multimedia. Except for short videos, this is almost always more cost effective to outsource to a specialized company.
  2. Add time stamps into the transcript to set when each portion of text will display on the screen. There are varying time stamp formats and file formats depending on what video player you are using. NC State provides this service for free, however, there are some companies that provide this service too for a fee.
  3. Incorporate the time stamped transcript back into the multimedia. This process is dependent upon the delivery platform. Sometimes it’s as simple as uploading the file to a video delivery system, while other times it involves editing HTML code to point to the caption file.

NC State has established a convenience contract for transcript and caption creation and also live captioning services.

The video player

The player where users view the video must be accessible as well. A common accessibility problem with video players is they require a mouse in order to use them. It is important to make sure the video player is designed in such a way that it is usable by all people.

There are a number of options for presenting video accessibly.