When using video or multimedia, both its content and functionality must be vetted for accessibility.

Transcripts or Synchronized Captions

Transcripts or synchronized captions can be necessary to make audio content accessible. 
For individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, video captions can provide access multimedia content via accurate, well-synchronized text that conveys audio action. Such actions include speaking, identification of speaker changes, sound effects, and music, among others. When enabled in a media player, the captions should appear in real time alongside your media.

Transcripts are textual, word-for-word versions of the audio content that can be more accessible for certain individuals. Transcripts are typically offered for audio files and should be offered in addition to captions for video content. Text documents are the preferred file format for transcripts.


The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) has developed a guide called the Captioning key to help people learn methods for creating suitable captions for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Video Player Accessibility

When hosting video and audio online, the media player and its interface should be accessible. Consider these questions for assessing accessibility:

  • Does the media player support the use of captions, transcripts, and video description?
  • Are the controls operable using only the keyboard instead of the mouse?
  • Is the media player compatible with assistive technology, such as screen-reading software or voice-recognition software?