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The 7 Ways to Make Your Video Content More Accessible
by anthony-morha Feb 02, 2024 Views (206)

It’s true that nowadays video content is more popular than ever. But let’s be honest, how many of us stop to think about whether our videos are accessible to everyone? — Seriously?

Accessibility, in case you might not be familiar with it, is the practice of creating content that can be used by people with disabilities. This includes people with visual, hearing, cognitive, and physical disabilities.

Making your video content accessible is not only the right thing to do, but it can also benefit your business in several ways. For example, it can increase your audience reach, improve your brand image, and boost your SEO.

So, how can you make your video content more accessible in 2024 and beyond that? You're about to find out the 7 cutting-edge ways!!!

What are The 7 Ways to Make Your Video Content More Accessible?

Crafting video content for your launched video production business that engages a broad audience, as mentioned before, requires intentionality, particularly when considering accessibility. 

But don’t stress too much because if you incorporate the following seven key strategies, you can ensure your videos reach and resonate with viewers from diverse backgrounds and abilities.

1. Add Captions and Transcripts.

Captions and transcripts are fundamental tools for making videos accessible to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

To start with, captions are text overlays synchronized with the video's audio, displaying spoken dialogue, sound effects, and other relevant auditory information. 

Transcripts, on the other hand, take captions a step further, providing a complete written record of the video's content, including non-verbal cues like speaker identification, background activity descriptions, and visual elements essential for understanding the context.

When implementing, don’t forget to ensure that captions are correctly placed, easy to read with high contrast and clear fonts, and adjustable in size and style for individual preferences.


Likewise, for transcripts, create a downloadable or easily accessible text transcript alongside the video. Include accurate transcriptions of spoken dialogue, descriptions of sound effects and music, and detailed explanations of key visual elements that contribute to understanding the video's message.


2. Use Audio Descriptions.

Imagine experiencing a video without ever seeing the visuals. How intolerable is that? For blind or visually impaired individuals, audio descriptions are a lifeline, bridging the gap between sight and understanding. 

Audio description narrations act as personal guides, painting a detailed picture with words. They describe key elements like characters, actions, settings, and other important visuals, unlocking the video's message for those who can't see it.

Crafting these descriptions requires a delicate touch though. Think of them as seamlessly woven threads, enriching the viewing experience without interrupting the main audio. 

So, short, sharp, and objective language is key, focusing on clarity and presenting the visuals factually. 

Finally, make audio descriptions easily accessible. Embed them as optional audio tracks, ensuring volume and synchronization blend perfectly with the original audio. 

If you do all of that, you'll transform video content into an inclusive experience, welcoming everyone to enjoy the visual world through the power of words.

3. Choose Accessible Colors and Fonts.

Sure accessibility is key to ensuring everyone can engage with your content. And in terms of design, a crucial step is incorporating accessible colors and fonts. Just start by embracing high-contrast color palettes. 

Think for a second the difference between vibrant blue text on a stark white background versus soft pink on a cream backdrop. Got the difference? Aim for the former, where the contrast makes elements easily distinguishable. Tools like contrast checkers also exist to help you verify this objectively.

Next, select legible, high contrast, and clear caption or subtitle fonts. Think clean lines and distinct letterforms, avoiding overly flamboyant or script-like styles that can be challenging to read. 

Universally, sans-serif fonts like Arial or Verdana are generally considered more accessible, especially at smaller sizes. And that’s what I recommend.

Remember, inclusivity is paramount. Don't just assume everyone sees the world exactly like you do. Like I said, tools exist to simulate color blindness or low vision, allowing you to test your design through different perspectives. 

4. Avoid Flashing Images and Videos.

When designing content, prioritize creating a safe and comfortable experience for everyone. Remove any potential triggers for seizures by eliminating rapidly flashing images or videos. Instead, opt for smooth transitions and gradual animations. 


Please, be mindful of the audio experience as well. Avoid sudden bursts of loud noises and layer sound elements thoughtfully to ensure clarity and prevent overwhelming the listener. 


If possible, always consider offering the option to adjust audio volume or disable specific sound effects, giving viewers further control over their viewing experience. 


Now, through keeping these principles in mind, you can create accessible and inclusive content that everyone can enjoy safely and comfortably with ease.


5. Use Keyboard Navigation.

Additionally, to ensure everyone has a seamless experience, prioritize keyboard navigation in your video player design. You can start by making all controls, like playback, volume, and seeking, clearly visible and readily focusable using the keyboard. 


Don't leave users guessing, ever! This includes designing a logical tab order that follows the player's layout and makes navigation intuitive. 


To further empower users, you can also provide clear and consistent keyboard shortcuts for essential actions like play/pause, volume control, and seeking. 


Remember, accessibility isn't a checkbox; it's an ongoing process. So use screen reader software to thoroughly test your player and ensure every function is operable solely through keyboard navigation. 


Imagine controlling a video player without ever touching a mouse? That’s how keyword navigation does to make your video-based content more accessible.


6. Provide Alternative Media.

What’s more, by providing alternative media options alongside your videos, one can open the door to wider engagement in 2024 and beyond that.


You can begin with transcripts, the cornerstone of accessibility, for both pre-recorded and live content. These cater to viewers with hearing impairments or those who prefer text, ensuring they don't miss a beat. 


Go further for visually complex videos by offering audio descriptions. It’s like a narrator painting a picture with words, guiding viewers with visual impairments through key elements and actions. 


For live streams, prioritize real-time transcripts, of course, with modern video editing tools, keeping deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers in the loop. Mind that you, accessibility isn't a one-time effort. 


For better or worse, follow established guidelines like WCAG 2.1, a roadmap for making your video player truly inclusive. As such, explore accessible video player libraries or plugins, tools built with accessibility in mind. 


Finally, empower your content creators! Educate them on the importance of accessibility and make it an integral part of their video production process.


7. Test Your Videos with Assistive Technology.

Ensuring your videos are accessible to all audiences is crucial for ethical and legal reasons. And testing your videos with assistive technology (AT) is the most effective way to identify and address potential accessibility barriers. 

This document outlines a detailed approach to testing your videos with AT, maximizing their reach and impact. Here are Assistive Technologies to consider:

  • Screen readers: Used by people with visual impairments, these tools convert text and visual elements into audible information. Popular options include NVDA, JAWS, and VoiceOver.

  • Speech-to-text programs: Used by people with hearing impairments or speech difficulties, these tools convert spoken audio into text. Examples include Google Live Transcribe and Microsoft Speech Recognition.

  • Magnifiers: Used by people with low vision, these tools enlarge the screen display, aiding in viewing video content. Popular options include ZoomText and Windows Magnifier.

  • Closed captions and transcripts: These provide textual representation of audio content, benefiting users with hearing impairments, dyslexia, or those in loud environments.

Thorough testing with AT is critical for creating accessible video content. By following this comprehensive approach, you can identify and address potential barriers, reaching a wider audience and fulfilling ethical and legal obligations. 

Always remember, accessibility is not an afterthought but an integral part of the video creation process.

Conclusion

To recap, by following the above 7 strategies, you can make your video content more accessible to everyone. This will not only help you reach a wider audience, but it will also make your content more inclusive and user-friendly.

I hope this blog post has been helpful. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. In addition to the strategies above, here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • Accessibility is not a one-time fix. It is an ongoing process.

  • There are many resources available to help you make your video content accessible.

  • The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has a set of guidelines for web accessibility called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines can also be applied to video content.

Overall, investing in accessibility empowers you to connect with a broader audience, enhance your content's impact, and contribute to a more inclusive online environment — creating a welcoming and enriching experience for all viewers.

Author Bio:

Robel Birhanu is a leading voice in the digital accessibility space, recognized for his insightful and in-depth blog posts dedicated to empowering creators with the knowledge and tools to make their content universally accessible. 


As a professional blogger, his passion lies in bridging the gap between complex web accessibility standards and practical implementation strategies, catering to a broad audience ranging from seasoned developers to budding content creators.


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