Lesson 4.1: Aspects of Accessible Videos

Educational resources in the form of videos, audio, PowerPoint presentations, and other visual/audio software programs are excellent devices for providing information to students. Accessible multimedia can convey information more effectively to an audience.

Creating Accessible Videos

Making media accessible is done on a case-by-case basis, considering the media’s context and the purpose of the media (information, entertainment, etc.). Making multimedia accessible is not difficult and can be accomplished by anyone who wishes to use or publish multimedia resources.


Descriptive language is an easily-implemented component of accessible videos. Using descriptive language aids learning by ensuring all information presented in the video is clear and complete. Further, using descriptive language allows students who cannot see the video to understand its content. People who are both blind and deaf will also benefit from descriptive language, because the information within a transcript (discussed in Lesson 4.2) will be complete.

Watch the following video to learn about using descriptive language.

Google Doc: Using Descriptive Language Video Transcript


Descriptive language is not the only component of accessible multimedia. Other elements of accessible multimedia include the following:

  • Captions and transcripts are available for audio segments
    • More on this in the next lesson, Lesson 4.2
  • Text and colors are accessible
    • You may review aspects of accessible text and colors in Lessons 2.1 and 2.2
  • Images are clearly explained by alternative text
    • You may review alternative text and text descriptions of images in Lesson 2.4
  • Text guides students to any audio/video that requires clicking for playback
  • Icons or links used to start audio/video playback are clearly visible and understandable
    • You may review accessible hyperlinks in Lesson 2.6
  • Any media player used is accessible
    • This usually means it can be used with only a keyboard (without a mouse) and with a screen reader
    • Your institution’s disability resources office may be able to assist you in determining whether your media player is accessible
    • Provide a link to download the media player (if required to view the media)
  • Descriptive language is used or audio descriptions are added to the video

Note: When creating your own videos, it is also important to consider accessibility of the video itself. For instance, you will want to make sure any slides or screen shots have enough color contrast. You can use your knowledge of accessibility and helpful tools, such as color contrast checkers, to judge whether a video is accessible.

Additional Resources

To continue, select the Lesson 4.2 button below.