Accessibility has come on leaps and bounds across all markets over the last couple of decades, but one that continues to make huge advancements in inclusivity is the video industry.

New video technologies have made video more accessible than ever, with exciting breakthroughs happening continuously.

So, what’s with all the hype? Why should you make your videos more accessible? And more importantly, how?

 

Why video needs to be more accessible

If we put aside the ethical element of video accessibility for a moment and focus purely on success metrics, your video will do much better if it is accessible to all consumers.

The Web Accessibility Initiative’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is used as a framework when assessing accessibility, ranging from Level A to AAA. Essentially, the more accessible your video is, the more favourable you are to search engines. Not to mention, making your content accessible is coming into law.

And if we are to focus back in on ethics, making your video more accessible opens up your content to audiences who are historically ignored when it comes to conventional media. To be part of the change not only feels good, but it could exponentially grow your customer base.

How to make video more accessible

What steps can you implement to ensure your video is accessible to as many parties as possible?

Here are some of the most wide-ranging, effective solutions:

Audio descriptions

Audio descriptions make your video accessible to those who have sight issues. Whether the consumer is blind, short or long sighted or maybe just doesn’t want to watch the video – having audio descriptions is a fantastic way to include this segment of the market.

Technology that generates audio descriptions has boomed in recent years, with descriptions becoming more accurate by the day. You can also still hire an audio transcription expert to manually narrate your video.

AI-generated captions

AI has pretty much become man’s best friend – despite the best efforts of the Terminator films.

One realm where AI has had a less-than-stellar reputation though, is in caption generation. The AI of old would churn out some funny and some downright awful translation of the audio presented to it.

But the state of play nowadays has completely transformed. New caption generating technologies can be accurate up to 90% – giving your audience members who can’t listen for whatever reason a chance to engage with and benefit from your video content.

By using accurate captions, you are able to capture the imaginations of those who are deaf, hard of hearing and those who simply watch videos with the sound off. And those numbers are on the rise, so being able to appeal to this audience is paramount if you want the broadest uptake.

Colour contrast validation

Colour blindness and difficulty differentiating between colours is a much larger problem than you may think, with around 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women currently suffering from at least one of the two.

It is a condition that makes watching videos a potentially very alienating experience, especially when information is conveyed predominantly through the use of colour. To combat this, you can ensure that key info is distinguishable without over reliance on colour.

New video technology that helps creators to combat this is growing, with The a11y® Color Contrast Accessibility Validator being a great starter tool.

So, video is more accessible than ever thanks to new technologies – great news, but what next?

Well it’s time to put these tools to good use. You can either use the tips and links in this guide to get started or you can bring in the professionals. Here at Dragonfly, we are already implementing cutting edge video technology and have been doing so with fervour for the last decade. 

If you want to give your video content serious mass appeal get in touch with us here.

Author Dan Walsh

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