Video Guidelines

Video is a complex medium that requires diligence and attention to detail when planning, producing, and remediating projects to ensure that accessibility requirements are met. Users who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind, or deaf-blind use varying methods to consume video content. Because of this, there are a number of techniques that must be used to create videos that are accessible to the broadest range of users possible.



Captions are text readouts of any sounds played on the video. They are synchronized to the audio track, and display on the screen at the same time the sounds are heard. Captions include both spoken word and other significant sounds.  EOU uses YouTube to host videos for the website, as it natively supports captions.

  • All prerecorded videos are required to have captions.
  • Both open captions (always-on captions, part of the video stream itself) and closed captions (optional text that appears in a black box on the screen when turned on) improve accessibility. If you have the option to choose, closed captions are typically the correct approach.
  • All captions must be manually reviewed for accuracy. Auto-generated captions are not sufficiently accurate to be considered accessible.

DIY Captions

  • Auto-generated captions are not sufficiently accurate to be considered accessible. You may use auto-generated captions as a starting point and then revise the initial computer output for accuracy, versus creating the captions entirely from scratch. 
  • Captions include all significant non-spoken sounds. This can be a little bit subjective; if the sound conveys significant information, include it in the caption.
    • Example: In a scene in a nature documentary about bird mating calls, the bird’s vocalizations are significant, and should be noted in the captions.
    • Example: In an interview with a person in a park where birds are chirping in the background, these sounds are not significant, and should not be noted in the captions.
    • Subtitles are similar to captions, but do not include non-spoken sounds. Some platforms use the terms “Subtitles” and “Captions” interchangeably, but your videos need to include non-spoken sounds regardless of your platform’s terminology.
  • Non-expert captioners can typically review 10-15 minutes of recorded audio per hour, consider this when weighing the cost of DIY versus outsourced captioning.
  • If you have options for caption formatting, SRT (.srt) is the most common filetype, and is accepted by virtually all video platforms. 

How to Test

Manually verify that each video in your content has captions. Verify that the captions are in sync with any audio spoken in the video, and that the captions displayed on screen accurately reflect the dialogue.

Captioning YouTube Videos:

Please refer to the links below to learn how to add and edit captions on your YouTube videos.

Adding YouTube videos to WordPress pages

The WordPress editor interface makes easy work of embedding YouTube videos in pages. Simply select the ‘YouTube’ block from the block selection pane, and embed the URL of your video in the text entry area. Click the ‘Embed’ button, and you’re off to the races! See the screenshots below for reference.

Step 1:

Selecting a YouTube Block in WordPress

Step 2:

Adding a URL to the YouTube Block in WordPress



Transcripts are a text-based recording of all the audio on a track. They promote accessibility for people who may need more time to process the information than afforded by captions, and allows users to search the entire text of the video to highlight specific content. Transcripts are useful in the event of technical difficulties; users who are unable to play videos or who have limited bandwidth can more easily use text-based equivalents of the content. 

  • If you are creating captions, transcripts typically only require minimal extra work. When you are done creating captions, you can choose to export them as a caption file (with timestamps that syncs to the video) or as a transcript (the same text without timestamp formatting).
  • Unlike captions, transcripts need to display any non-decorative text shown on screen. If the caption export did not include this information, add it manually.
  • Each video needs an adjacent link that allows users to read the transcript.
  • Like captions, autogenerated transcripts are not sufficiently accurate. All transcripts require manual review to ensure they correctly capture the audio component of the video.

How to Test

Manually verify that each video has a visible link to its transcripts. Review the transcripts to ensure they contain an accurate recording of the audio played, and text displayed, on the video.

Audio Descriptions


Audio Descriptions are a separate audio track that provide descriptions of the visual content in videos as they play. Whereas captions take the audio components and make them visual, audio descriptions take the visual elements and make them aural.  

The intention behind audio descriptions is to take any content that would not be inferred from the audio alone and read it out to the audience. Audio descriptions frequently include text that is displayed on screen, and any visual information that is not explicitly described by the speaker on the video. Not all videos have content that require audio descriptions. 

Unlike captions, creating audio descriptions requires more extensive training, and DIY audio descriptions are discouraged.

Unfortunately, most media players, including YouTube and Vimeo, do not currently support audio descriptions.