There’s a big difference between having a video and having a video that’s fully inclusive. In the United States, 3% of all citizens are legally blind and 4% of citizens are deaf or hard of hearing. Beyond that, though there is no concrete number, it’s estimated that a minimum of 5% of US citizens cannot read due to dyslexia or a learning disability. If your video is not fully inclusive, you could be missing out on reaching 12% of your potential customers, clients, supporters, volunteers, champions, and fans. So, what are three questions you should ask yourself before making your next video?
1. If Someone Can’t See My Video, Do They Know What’s Happening?
A trend in instructional videos today is well-shot videos with only a music bed and text to supplement the video. However, if a person cannot see it, will the video be useful to them? Consider providing some sort of audio description in your video. There’s a spectrum when it comes to audio description. Most people can get the gist of the video with simply the spoken word from interviewees or a narrator speaking. However, sometimes it may be important to describe everything happening in the video in detail for someone to really understand what’s going on (especially for those trendy instructional videos). If you think it takes away from the overall artistic vibe of the piece, consider creating a second, accessible version.
2. If Someone Can’t Hear My Video, Do They Still Understand the Content?
Adding captions to videos should be something always on your radar. Depending on where you host your video, it can be pretty easy to do as well. For instance, Youtube or Facebook will auto-generate captions for you. However, always review the captions for accuracy before publishing. On occasion, auto-generated captioning can even include offensive words. Also, if you are going to present the video to a group outside of the world wide web, make sure that the video is subtitled or has the captioning burned into it, so anyone that needs it can read the spoken words of your video.
3. If Someone Can’t Read the Text on My Video, Are They Missing the Point?
Text in a video can really help drive certain points home. It can also be helpful overall for viewers to really absorb the content. However, if there are certain things that are simply written and not spoken, those with vision loss and those with cognitive or learning disabilities may not pick up on the information you are relaying. Consider adding a detailed description and/or Alt-Text to the video that can be read by a screen reader.
Now you know what to think about before making your next video. But what about the videos you’ve already produced? We suggest doing a simple audit of your old videos. Note… Make sure you’re reviewing all your videos, including ones that may only be on social media or on your website. If you find they’re lacking in accessibility, don’t fret. There are ways to add captions, alt-text, and video descriptions to videos, no matter where they are hosted. If your video does not include any audio description, consider explaining the video in the text description.
Don’t have time to do an audit yourself or would like assistance, Good Fruit Video is happy to help. Just give us a shout!
I hope this information will help you with your video projects past, present, and future. Not only will asking yourself these questions help you be more inclusive to individuals with disabilities, but it will help your videos be more accessible for everyone. It’s a win/win!
If you have additional questions or comments, feel free to reach out to me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!