WCAG & WAI-ARIA
Accessibility for players of online video
Streamio uses Radiant Media Player as the primary player for video that follows the standards of WCAG2 & WAI-ARIA
What is accessibility?
Accessibility is about making content available to everyone, regardless of functional variations. For video and audio, this may be to provide subtitles, visual recognition, text version (transcription) and sign language.
Much of what we come into contact with today are different public sector customers who will have new legal requirements in 2020.
Not just the public sector
Accessibility adjustment is not an issue that concerns only public organizations.
On the one hand, all companies that deliver to municipalities, county councils, government agencies and so on are affected. But even private companies need to make their content accessible to everyone.
It is partly a question of not excluding groups and, moreover, you do not want to miss part of the market you operate on. Some accessibility aspects are important for large groups. For example, subtitles are used in many contexts:
You may not know the language fluently and want the support of both listening and reading. Or you use subtitles when watching a movie in an environment where you can’t have an adequate volume on the film. A third option is that the sound of the film at times is bad, or some actors talk unclear.
Better searchability, SEO
Another aspect that you don’t want to miss is search engine optimization, SEO. Providing subtitles and transcriptions for movies and audio files, such as podcasts, is a great way to be found when someone searches for content you cover.
Subtitles and transcriptions
Streamio supports subtitles according to the WebVTT standard, which works both mobile phones and desktops. SRT files can be converted automatically and editing can be done directly in Streamio. Subtitles works work with languages that have other character sets. Players have the option to have an attached transcription window.
Full support for keyboard navigation in the video player.
The video player is adapted to support the WCAG AAA level of contrast and allows you to adapt this to our own needs with tailored CSS.
The video player is tested against screen readers and the following are recommended:
- NVDA 2017+ with latest Chrome on Windows 10+
- VoiceOver with latest Safari on macOS 10.12+
- TalkBack with latest Chrome for Android
- VoiceOver with latest Safari on iOS 12+
Development of accessibility at Streamio
Here are our priority areas for development of accessible video.
Tests are ongoing to integrate automatic subtitles and transcription, we aim to release this functionality in 2020.
Multiple audio tracks
For efficient handling of audio description / spoken subtitles, we are looking at the technical conditions for several audio tracks (which can also be used for several languages, for example)
Multiple video tracks
For sign interpretation, we look at different solutions and have not chosen the path. Transparent video overlays are a way to go, or several synced players, we are also looking at implementing multiple video tracks that you can switch between which would be a flexible and reliable solution.
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Ways to make video available
Separate sign language version
The most common thing is to produce two films, one without sign language and one with an image-mixed variant where the character language is included. Image-wise, it is important that you can clearly see face and hands, and high-quality streaming, as well as the resolution (HD quality!), is important. When you see sign interpretation on television, this is the most common solution and something that is created in production.
Another option is to do this, not in production, but as an overlay that the media server can turn off and on, alternatively, that is available as a layer in the media player that can be turned off and off.
Another way is to provide a video player that can switch between multiple channels, where the user can choose the version of the movie. In this case, two films are produced, one with and the other without sign language – these are then delivered as tracks that the user can choose from.
Another option is to work with multiple movies that are synchronized on time. This usually produces two windows, one with the film and one with the character interpreter. Having synced movies makes the function more difficult in different receiving devices, such as mobiles
Learn more about accessibility
Find more information
If you want to search for more information about available video online, keywords such as accessible technology, web video text tracks, webVTT, WCAG 2.0″, WCAG 2.1 and user interface controls can provide great starting points for more information. The difficulty is to sift and to find the information that is relevant!