Making Your Video Abstract Accessible
Taking the steps to make your video content accessible will help you present your science to a more diverse audience and enable viewers to access your content on a variety of platforms and viewing conditions. Creating accessible content also signals to your audience that you value inclusivity, regardless of whether they require accommodations.
Video and Audio to Text Options
Subtitles: A direct text translation of the video’s spoken dialogue that usually appears at the bottom of the screen. Subtitles can either be in the same language as the spoken dialogue or translated into other languages.
Captions: Captions include not only a text description of the spoken word, but also descriptions of the background music or sounds to provide the same level of information one would get from hearing the audio. Captions are especially helpful for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Transcript: A separate text document containing the dialogue and content of the video. A transcript should include not only what is spoken in the video, but also descriptions of actions or important information on-screen.
A fully accessible video would include subtitles, captions, and a transcript, each of which performs a different function. With captions or subtitles, the on-screen text should be synchronized with the visuals, equivalent to the spoken content, and readily accessible to those who wish to use it. Adding captions, subtitles, and transcripts can expand your audience to include those who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewers who speak a different language than used in the original video, or those who use a screen reader. Captions, subtitles, and transcripts can also increase the search engine optimization (SEO) of your content and make it easier for people to find your video abstract through searches.
Rev.com is an example of a service that quickly creates .srt files used for subtitles and captions, which you can upload to platforms like YouTube.
Any text included in the video should also be in a large, sans-serif font. A good rule of thumb is to leave text up long enough for a viewer to read twice.
Learn more about video accessibility from the Bureau of Internet Accessibility.
Select high-contrast colors that are easy to distinguish against the background. Color blindness affects about one in 12 men (8%) and one in 200 women (0.5%). Check out Venngage’s guide for selecting color palettes that are more accessible to people with a variety of color blindness conditions.
Flashing and Content that Triggers Photosensitive Reactions
Some visuals, like bright flashing or quick transitions between high contrast scenes, can trigger reactions in people with photosensitive conditions like epilepsy or people who are on the autism spectrum. You can check if your video might cause a photosensitive reaction with this tool from the University of Maryland. If it does, add a warning slide to the beginning of your video and to the descriptive text indicating that viewer discretion is advised.
WARNING: This video may potentially trigger photosensitivity reactions. Viewer discretion is advised.
NOTE: Use of the PEAT tool to assess material commercially produced for television broadcast, film, home entertainment, or gaming industries is prohibited.