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We sell a widget. And we're building a webpage for the widget.

We have a section on the webpage where we want to show a text description of a feature of that widget, and below the description, we show a video of the feature with no audio.

There is no additional text/visual information that's contained in the video outside of what has been described in the text.

We are unable to remove the video since this is a studio shot from marketing which zooms into the key attributes and details of the widget.

My question is: how do we communicate this to people using assistive technologies without being redundant? Do we add some additional text as caption? Leave it without a description? Are there other options that we are overlooking?

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There are a few ways you can handle this.

Captions

The first is to add captions. While it might feel redundant you have to bear in mind that there are people who are both blind and deaf using braille keyboards and braille screens to read your content. Their screen reader software can get these captions, convert them to braille and they have the same information as everyone else.

Alternative Media

The second option is to have the information elsewhere on the page in HTML so it can be consumed there. Or it could be an accessible (fully tagged) PDF.

This way a screen reader can consume that information as well / instead.

Audio Description

There is a third option, you can have an audio described version of the video in addition to the standard version (still with captions as discussed in point 1!).

This means that any visual information is quickly described as part of the video (you occasionally have to add extra time in certain scenes to allow for this). That way the visual information is conveyed so a blind user can get as close to a "full experience" as a sighted user.

Ideally a combination of all!

Without seeing the video it is hard to give a definitive answer but in an ideal world you would have (in the following order of difficulty, the list is designed that you add each item so not one or the other):-

  • captions on the video explaining any text
  • the same information elsewhere on the page / on social media posts / available as an accessible PDF download etc. (same principle applies here for videos that do have audio where you would have a transcript as the alternative media as well as captions)
  • an alternative audio described version of the video, also with captions

A few bits of relevant information

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