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Communities of practice

Video player


A consistent video player which has best practice accessibility support built into it, there is still a lot of variance in how accessible players currently in use are. AccessibilityOz have a great player, and we’ve previously used Viostream’s player which whilst it was accessible was clunky looking as the accessibility was retrofitted.


We tend to just rely on embedding Youtubes.
The closed captioning (and timed transcripts) are super easy to get working. Plus they have already sorted out their device / user agent support, and playback quality options. Plus the HDD space they take up and the bandwidth used to deliver them isn’t ours.
Wouldn’t mind hearing what others think about going the Youtube / Vimeo (or similar) option?


In my opinion, there are two parts to this: the accessibility of the embedding process, and the accessibility of the video player.


YouTube and Vimeo videos are embedded in web pages by inserting inline frame (iframe) code.

The only immediate barrier to accessibility with this approach is that the default embed code does not include a attribute and fails WCAG 2.4.2 Page Titled (note that iframes are used to present content from an external source and therefore are regarded as discrete pages that require their own title).

Since the embed code is manually pasted into the web page, that issue can - and must - be easily addressed by manually adding a with appropriate value to the code.

Note that Vimeo can also place a paragraph with the video title underneath the iframe. That may obviate the need for a attribute, if the default video title is sufficiently descriptive.

Video Player

Chris’ point about captioning is correct, but note that the quality of auto-captioning reflects the sound quality - but you can use the caption editor to check and correct captions.

Be aware that YouTube’s “Video Transcript” does not accompany a video embedded on another site, it is typically accessed only on the YouTube page. Directing users there is not recommnded as the YouTube website has some accessibility issues.

If you want to provide a transcript for a YouTube video rather than use captions, the options are to store the transcript as hidden text that is exposed by, eg, a link or button marked “Transcript”, correctly marked up to be accessible; or to link to a transcript on a separate, accessible web page.

This is where Ross’ point about accessible video players comes in, in that some video players can provide greater accessibility out of the box, including transcriptions interactively linked to the video, giving the user much greater control over. YouTube can be improved with some customisation, such as using YouDescribe to create and apply audio descriptions, but purpose-specific accessible video players currently provide the most accessibility.

Hope that helps.