In our digital world, there are many ways to consume information, but video content has taken over. More than half of marketers say that video is the most valuable media type, and a whopping 85% of social media users say they want to see more video content from brands. This comes as no surprise as we see the rise of TikTok and Instagram’s push for reels.
According to the CDC, approximately 5.9% of adults live with deafness or serious hearing difficulty and 4.6% of adults live with blindness or have serious difficulty seeing. Not only is that a large percentage of people you’re not engaging with, but it is also a typically underserved group that you are not including.
When creating videos, there are ways to make them more accessible. Use this as a checklist during pre- and post-production to ensure you are creating accessible videos that will increase your digital reach and brand awareness.
Include both audio and visual elements
If using visual aids like graphs, images, or on-screen text to relay information, be sure that information is being explained audibly for those with visual impairments. By having both visual and audio elements, you make sure your message gets across to everyone.
Choose a WCAG-compliant color scheme
When choosing colors to use for visual aids or graphics, use a color palette comprising easily-readable colors. To meet WCAG's minimum requirements, the contrast level must be at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for larger text.
When in doubt, always use a contrast checker.
Record narration in advance
Preparing the narration track in advance will leave less work to do in post-production. Added something new during production? No problem, you can always go back and voice additional content, but it’s still good to have it mostly prepared beforehand.
Adding captions to videos is an absolute must. Captions don’t just write out what the speaker is saying. They also include meaningful cues so people with hearing disabilities can fully engage in the content.
Whereas subtitles typically transcribe speech and vocalizations, captions mention other sounds that can provide the context needed to understand what's happening in the video.
Provide a video transcript
By including a video transcript—a word-for-word text file of the audio from the video—you can boost SEO while providing a valuable resource for anyone engaging with the video. Plus, some screen reader users may prefer a transcript instead of real-time audio.
Transcripts are usually included as separate files that can be accessed while on the video page. You can use text-to-speech software to generate them or adjust pre-written scripts.
And providing a video description—a text-based description of the video content—is important for silent videos since it gives a summary of video content to those with visual impairments.
Use an accessible video player
A 508-compliant video player will be compatible with assistive technology and responsive to keyboard commands, making them better options for those who rely on alternatives to mouse navigation.
Able Player is a popular option. This fully accessible, cross-browser media player supports audio and video, includes keyboard-accessible controls, supports 12 different languages, and more.
For longer-form videos, another option to consider is hosting an inclusive screening. By including and inviting people with disabilities to your screening you can get first-hand feedback to find out how accessible your video is.
While video reigns supreme, it’s important to consider those living with visual or hearing disabilities. You cannot truly reach the masses without not creating accessible content, so increase your digital influence by including everyone.
Keeping the tips in the checklist in mind, you can start creating digitally-accessible videos to help expand your reach, increase awareness of your brand or mission, or deliver helpful information to your audience.