SIDN supports our tooling

5 April 2021

The SIDN fund wrote a nice article about our accessible video player, where they contributed financially to its creation. We are happy to share this article, which can be found on the SIDN website.

it is our joint responsibility that we do not exclude people.

SIDN fund supports a tool that contributes to the accessibility of video content.

Being able to watch or listen to an online video is not a matter of course for everyone. The Netherlands has more than 1.7 people with a visual or hearing impairment who need support when watching videos. Eveline Ferwerda, founder of the online platform scribit.pro, strives for a future in which all organizations, companies and governments make an effort to be accessible in the physical and digital world. This includes video accessibility. That is why Eveline developed a video player with the support of the SIDN Fund, which the viewer can use to switch on optional subtitles or audio description. The player is available for free to organizations and government agencies.

Digital accessibility

requirements The scribit.pro platform helps organizations and government agencies to add subtitles, a text alternative and audio description to their videos. Audio description is a narration that describes exactly what can be seen in the picture. The starting point of sribit.pro is to promote the accessibility of online videos. On the one hand, to create a user-friendly online environment for everyone. On the other hand, to comply with the laws and regulations regarding digital accessibility, or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1).

“For videos from government agencies, audio description, subtitles and a text alternative are mandatory,” explains Eveline Ferwerda. “But these features are not yet available in every video player. That is why we developed an open source video player that makes it possible to easily add and enable these functions. We were inspired by an existing video player from central government. We were then given the opportunity to further develop this tool internally and make it available online. Our current video player fully complies with online accessibility guidelines.”

Freely accessible video player

“All companies, organizations and government agencies can use our video player for free. First of all, they prepare the audio description and subtitles themselves using the online software of scribit.pro. When preparing the audio description, they choose from our different synthetic voices, so that the viewer can properly distinguish between spoken text and audio description. In addition, they add the text alternative. This text describes what can be seen sequentially in the video. They then download these files and the accessible video player from the scribit.pro website. After adding the files to the video, they manually add the video player to their own website using a code. Viewers of the video activate the subtitles themselves via the CC button and the audio description via the AD button. At the bottom of the video is a fold-out block, in which you view the text alternative.”

“In addition to the social importance, making videos accessible and sharing also has other benefits,” explains Eveline. “The accessible functions ensure a better online findability of your video in Google.”

The support of SIDN fund

“SIDN fund offers us financial support, which enabled us to develop the video player. In addition, the fund actively pays attention to linking our project to similar initiatives, so that we can support each other. SIDN fund also supports our project around our video accessibility plugin. This plugin automatically activates the viewer's accessibility preferences. In this way, the viewer does not have to manually switch on the subtitles and/or audio description for every video. Often you are already past the play button before you encounter the audio description button.”

Valerie Frissen, director of SIDN fund: “SIDN fund stands for a strong, but also inclusive and accessible internet. The scribit.pro video player contributes to the inclusiveness we stand for. It makes the extra step that companies and institutions have to take for this a lot easier. Where the majority of videos do not (yet) offer subtitles or audio description, this can easily be added with this accessible video player. An important step in the right direction.”

Integration of a sign language interpreter

“It is our joint responsibility to ensure that everyone can participate and we do not exclude people. That is why we continue to develop our video player and we are working on the integration of a sign interpreter. During the recording of the very first demo of this, we were supported by sign interpreter Irma Sluis.”

“I think it is extremely important that in the near future commercial companies will also have to meet the accessibility requirements. Our ultimate goal is for the major player YouTube to offer an accessible video player and for the accessibility of all online videos to become the norm,” says Eveline.

Do you want to know more about the accessible video player or do you want to download it directly for free for your own organization? Feel free to contact us.