Accessible video player

The Accessible Video widget allows people with disabilities to access information, without needing to identify their disability to others or request for special assistance.

Achieving this relies largely on course providers creating accessible video content. 

When creating accessible video and audio, it is imperative that a person with a disability is able to both use and understand the video and audio. OpenLearning’s audio and video widgets are keyboard accessible so that learners can control them, including pausing, and has settings to allow course creators to give students the option to skip over video.

There are several things to consider when creating an accessible video:

  • How the video is filmed;
  • How the video is shared on OpenLearning’s platform;
  • Creating a video transcript;
  • Creating audio descriptions; and
  • Creating video captions.

To generate accessible video content it is important to:

  • Consider colour contrast of the content;
  • Limit the size of the video files to no more than 2MB and break up larger files
  • Do not use only colour to convey information; and
  • Do not use flashing content or flickering content.

Captions, or a text-based alternative to videos, is imperative for video accessibility. While YouTube’s closed captioning feature has improved a lot as of late, it does not consistently generate accurate captions. Accessible video captions should:

  • Appear simultaneously to their relevant sound;
  • Convey all of the important audio information;
  • Appear on the screen for a sufficient amount of time for reading;
  • Have sufficient colour contrast between the background and text colour; and,
  • Attribute text to a speaker, either descriptively or with the name of the speaker if they’ve shared it.

Transcripts are the result of the process of converting the video or audio to text and takes the form of a written document. When generating and providing video and audio transcripts it is important to:

  • Create a clear link to the transcript that is in an accessible format;
  • Place the link to the transcript adjacent to the video or audio;
  • Ensure that it contains all speech content;
  • Includes information about the speech;
  • Includes pertinent non-speech audio; and, 
  • Contains graphical and textual information displayed in the video.

The World Wide Web Consortium’s Multimedia Accessibility FAQ article is a helpful reference for requirements as well as examples.

Refer to WCAG Guideline 1.2 Time-based Media to learn more about the requirements for accessible video.

Beyond that, an accessible video player can help by supporting the following: 

  • The ability to upload video captions and subtitles.
  • The ability to upload audio captions (also known as audio descriptions).
  • The ability to add chapters for easy navigation through the video.
  • The video player can be controlled via keyboard alone.
  • The video player can be controlled via mouse alone.
  • High contrast, scalable controls.

Prior to 2020 August, OpenLearning's video widget did not support many of the features above. We have since switched to using AblePlayer, a fully accessible, cross-browser, HTML5 media player. 

AblePlayer's own documentation gives many examples of different combinations of accessible content and what that looks like in AblePlayer: See AblePlayer examples


Where can I find Accessible Video Player?


Step 1

Put your page in "edit mode"


Step 2 

Select Core widgets, and then Accessible Video


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