There is a constant increase in social media access in recent years. And between the different types of content like audio, textural, and video, the most popular is video. It accounts for 82% of all web traffic because video content goes a long way in helping to build rapport between people and businesses.
Video content can be problematic because creators do not always make accessible videos. The content loses on the traffic and a sizeable population of people with disabilities.
It makes it more essential you ensure complete video accessibility for all your digital content. Understandably, this is something that is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, the good news is that we are here to help.
ADA Site Compliance is the #1 source for all ADA website compliance issues. We take care of all web compliance issues, including video accessibility. So, if you need help with creating inclusive content, our team of accessibility experts will help. They know all the legal and regulatory requirements for web compliance and will pinpoint and eliminate any mistakes in your website and remediate them.
What is Media Accessibility? And Who Benefits From It?
To understand social media accessibility, you must first know what the word ‘accessible’ means. Accessible here means content created for users with visual, cognitive, and hearing impairments, limited dexterity, and other relevant needs to view easily.
So by making videos accessible, you create content that people with disabilities can connect with and experience just like anyone else.
And the good thing is that it is not just those with disabilities who can benefit from an inclusive design. It also benefits others who may want to engage with your video content in other ways.
- Adding text captions to video content to help the hearing-impaired and people who want to watch the content without disturbing others.
- Those consuming content from someplace noisy or quiet prefer watching videos with subtitles.
- And most importantly, accessible content helps with your business and marketing efforts.
Besides, creating accessible content is not that expensive, nor is it too time-consuming. All you need to know is the right way to do it or have professionals do it if you do not.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1
The World Wide Web Consortium (W-3) was responsible for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The intention was to set standards for web accessibility by guiding web developers on the rules to keep in mind while creating pages accessible to a wide range of people with disabilities.
The WCG has three levels of compliance to ensure web compliance. They are:
- Level A compliance means your website is at least 80% compliant
- Level AA for websites that are at least 95% compliant
- Level AAA for a 100% compliant website
It is practically impossible to strive for Level AAA compliance, so Level AA compliance is generally more than enough. There are, however, some things to do to ensure WCAG compliance like:
- Providing captions to access video content and transcripts in audiovisual content
- Including alt text on pages embedded with audio-video files
- Converting documents into PDFs to facilitate audio playback
There is a chance that some of your content or web pages are not in compliance. In this case, you can easily edit your YouTube videos for compliance. And if you do not have the time, the professionals always do.
4 Guidelines to Improve Your Social Posts Accessibility
There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your social media posts are accessible and to facilitate better accessible social media networking access. These strategies include:
1. Using Alt Text and Captions
Alt text and captions help users with visual or hearing impairments access the information and meaning of your visual content. And for those unaware, alt text means the short description of images that screen readers can read. Some automatically generated captions appear when an image cannot be loaded.
Captions are the alternative text for accompanying video or audio files, transcribing the spoken content. And it is not just users with hearing and visual disabilities that it helps. It also proves helpful to those with low-bandwidth connections and language barriers. All alt text and captions must be written using clear and concise language, with relevant keywords and context to avoid redundancy.
2. Use the Right Colors and Fonts
While colors and fonts enhance your content aesthetics, the wrong choice can create challenges for users with visual impairments like color blindness, low vision, or dyslexia.
The best tips to follow for accessibility include the following:
- Using high-contrast, easy-to-distinguish colors
- Avoiding the use of only colors to convey meaning
- Using legible and consistent fonts
- Avoiding cursive or decorative fonts
- Providing users with the option to adjust the text size and style
- Use a simple and organized layout
Your visual content layout relates to how different elements on a page or screen are aligned. Use something simple and organized- clutter only confuses visitors and makes navigation difficult.
A few simple tips help make your visual content more accessible, structured, and inclusive like:
- Having white space and margins
- Using headings and subheadings
- Using bullet points, lists, icons, and labels to structure and highlight points
- Using a consistent and logical order
- Keep on testing and validating content
Make it a point to continuously test and validate your content to fix any problems affecting its usability and accessibility. You can use tools or hire experts to evaluate your visual content’s readability, inclusivity, and accessibility.
3. Create accessible visuals
Creating accessible visuals is essential for ADA compliance. Visually accessible designs are designed for everyone to use and experience the content, including the color-blind and visually impaired.
Ensure all visual components have text alternatives for the viewer to use and enjoy. Text Alts are essential because screen readers edit alt text to read to let the viewer know what it is when there is a photo.
Remember, visuals are created for a better understanding of the content. Alternatives should thus convey better meaning and improve visual accessibility to the user.
4. Hosting Platform
Videos are not the only element to consider for accessibility. The hosting company and platform also affect video content accessibility because it is where you will place your videos. So look for a hosting platform that provides accessibility features and conforms to all accessibility requirements.
6 Steps to Create More Inclusive Video Content
It is not always enough to create inclusive content; you must create even more than inclusive social media and video content to help you grow. The good news is that you can do it with the help of the following tips:
1. Create accessible content
First and foremost, aim at creating accessible video content. To do this, create all pages so screen readers can easily interact with each web page. The screen readers will pick up the alt text for images, so ensure you choose the relevant alt text. A pro tip is to use keywords your users are most likely to use while looking for your content.
Adding captions to videos also helps and does not require more effort than video descriptions. Other tips to help create more accessible videos and content include ensuring users can navigate the website using the keyboard and ensuring the site works with relevant accessibility tools and browsers.
2. Use inclusive language
Captions and video descriptions should comprise inclusive language. Use plain or gender-neutral language, for example, a salesperson instead of a salesman. Also, avoid making gender-based assumptions by using gender-neutral pronouns like ‘they’ where possible.
3. Ask Your Users for Their Input
Creating accessible content is a continual process, so an open and honest dialogue with your users helps. Besides, each person has their views and opinions, and what you do not know, you will never know!
So encourage feedback from your users because the quicker you implement this, the easier it is to create genuinely inclusive content.
4. Video captions are a must
Captions are more than words you place at the bottom of videos for the deaf and hard of hearing to read and appreciate the content. Captions also convey the dialogues, narrations, sound effects, and other aural information to provide people with disabilities with an equal viewing experience as everyone.
Captions are also a valuable learning tool that provides users with impaired vision access to small-screen videos. Plan to add captions for videos with audio content so that they can be appreciated and understood by a diverse audience.
5. Include Video Transcripts
Transcripts go a step further from closed captions for compliance by converting the entire text of the video. So, in addition to conveying content dialogues and narrations, transcripts let the deaf, hard of hearing, and anyone who cannot listen to audio files search and find the required information in a presentation.
And unlike screen captures that quickly disappear, transcripts make video content more accessible to users with reading disabilities. There are also media-alternative transcripts you can use to increase accessibility.
They are text-based versions of a video dialogue with written descriptions of whatever is on screen. And prove useful to the blind, those with limited sight, and assistive technology users.
6. Include Audio Descriptions for Visual Information
As per the WCAG guidelines, audio descriptions are essential for Level AA compliance. According to this requirement, audio descriptions should accompany all videos, infographics, animation, or images on your website, social media post, or web page.
Video content includes signs, images, symbols, videos, and animations on your website. So all of this should have an accompanying audio description comprehensively describing the visual and accessible social media content to blind and low vision users.
Audio descriptions also help users understand the content of a scene so that they do not miss anything they cannot see happening.
There are two main types of audio descriptions which are:
Standard audio descriptions
These audio narrate the information of a scene, video, audio file, or image. It provides enough information to describe whatever happens within the frame.
Extended audio descriptions
Extended audio descriptions offer a more concise narration of every action occurring across frames. They may include sound effects and environmental sounds you do not find in standard audio descriptions.
The best tips to remember while creating audio descriptions are to:
- Explain all the content not clearly described or discussed
- Clearly describe what happens on screen
- Ensure there is no overlapping of the video and audio when adding the description
- Exclude all the guesses, comments, speculation, and interpretations in the content
Frequently Asked Questions
As the #1 web compliance experts around, our clients have questions to ask us. We have decided to help clear most of the doubts you may have in your mind by sharing these frequently asked questions and answers.
1. How do I make a video accessible to everyone?
These six tips will ensure your video is accessible to everyone, especially users with disabilities:
- Using closed
- Open captions
- Media alternative transcripts
- Standard audio descriptions
- Extended audio descriptions
2. How do I make my content accessible to everyone?
It is not challenging to make your content accessible to everyone, like your users with disabilities. You can start by:
- Making a checklist
- Adapting your content creation style
- Providing meaningful alt-text
- Using more descriptive links
- Checking and conforming to color contrast
3. What are the Four Guidelines and Principles for Accessibility Inclusivity?
The WCAG is built based on four main guiding principles of accessibility. These four principles are more remembered by the acronym POUR or perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust
4. What are the Four Accessibility Guidelines?
The four accessibility guidelines set by the WCAG are Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. These four main principles are more popularly known by the acronym POUR.
5. What Does it Mean to be More Inclusive?
Content that is more accessible and inclusive is always good for business. It increases the number of members relating to or seeing themselves in your content. Work at creating content without any discriminatory terms. Do not forget to conduct the necessary research so that your content does not end up causing any intentional harm.
Videos are today the most attractive content available on social media, with the capacity to generate more views, followers, and connections. And for this to happen, you should ALWAYS have inclusive social media content accessible to all your users.
Many factors contribute to your website’s web compliance, and one is video accessibility. By ensuring video accessibility, it means your content is inclusive to everyone.
While creating inclusive video content is relatively easy, it can be challenging for a newbie. This is where we at ADA Site Compliance will help you. We are the #1 source for all ADA website compliance issues, and you can depend on us to ensure video accessibility on your website.
We strive to provide all your users with an equal experience while visiting your website by providing equal access to video content. Our team of accessibility experts will ensure your website and web pages are not only accessible but also welcoming and inclusive to all your users.
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We’re always here to help.
The ADA prohibits any private businesses that provide goods or services to the public, referred to as “public accommodations,” from discriminating against those with disabilities. Federal courts have ruled that the ADA includes websites in the definition of public accommodation. As such, websites must offer auxiliary aids and services to low-vision, hearing-impaired, and physically disabled persons, in the same way a business facility must offer wheelchair ramps, braille signage, and sign language interpreters, among other forms of assistance.
All websites must be properly coded for use by electronic screen readers that read aloud to sight-impaired users the visual elements of a webpage. Additionally, all live and pre-recorded audio content must have synchronous captioning for hearing-impaired users.
Websites must accommodate hundreds of keyboard combinations, such as Ctrl + P to print, that people with disabilities depend on to navigate the Internet.
Litigation continues to increase substantially. All business and governmental entities are potential targets for lawsuits and demand letters. Recent actions by the Department of Justice targeting businesses with inaccessible websites will likely create a dramatic increase of litigation risk.
Big box retailer Target Corp. was ordered to pay $6 million – plus $3.7 million more in legal costs – to settle a landmark class action suit brought by the National Federation of the Blind. Other recent defendants in these cases have included McDonald’s, Carnival Cruise Lines, Netflix, Harvard University, Foot Locker, and the National Basketball Association (NBA). Along with these large companies, thousands of small businesses have been subject to ADA website litigation.
Defendants in ADA lawsuits typically pay plaintiff's legal fees, their own legal fees for defending the litigation, and potential additional costs. In all, the average cost can range from tens of thousands of dollars, to above six figures. There are also high intangible costs, such as added stress, time and human capital, as well as reputational damage. Furthermore, if the remediation is incomplete, copycat suits and serial filers can follow, meaning double or triple the outlay. It's vital to implement a long-term strategy for ensuring your website is accessible and legally compliant.