Everything you need to know
Of course, if you want to feature a video, you also want everyone to be able to watch it properly. A video should therefore also be accessible to people with disabilities. There are European rules and guidelines that determine when a video needs to be accessible. These are laid down in the general regulations for web accessibility, known as the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). Here you will find recommendations for making web content more accessible, including videos. With these adaptations, the content will be more accessible to people with disabilities such as blindness and impaired vision, deafness and hearing loss, limited mobility, speech impairment, light sensitivity and combinations of these. It also helps people with learning disabilities and cognitive impairments. By following these guidelines, web content often also becomes more useful for users in general.
By editing your video in the Scribit.Pro editor and offering it in our accessible video player or with the YouTube and VIMEO widget, you will be complying with the video accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.1). We have outlined the specific requirements for online videos on our page on WCAG, or take a look at W3.org's page for detailed information on this.
If you would like to read more about the WCAG guidelines, you can find them on the website of W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). W3C is an international community where affiliated organisations, full-time staff and the public work together to develop web standards. W3C's mission is to guide the web towards expressing its full potential. They have stated as a guideline that an online video is accessible if, in accordance with the corresponding requirements, it features:
If you want to make the video more accessible, you can also provide it with:
If you have a Scribit.Pro subscription, in our Scribit.Pro Academy, you can learn all about how to create a good audio description and subtitles and how they combine to form the alternative text. The Scribit.Pro Academy is the place to learn all about video accessibility and how to make your video content accessible using our unique and approachable software.
Scribit.Pro focuses on making online videos accessible. If you want to ensure that your website as a whole is easily accessible, there are an incredible number of parties that can provide you with information on this or help you with it. Digitaaltoegankelijk.com shares knowledge, provides targeted advice and helps companies and organisations to make websites or apps more accessible. With all the information they share, including on social media, it's a valuable party to follow. You can also contact Stichting Accessibility, which provides not only knowledge and expertise but also training for web developers.
Regulations relating to (semi-)government institutions
As of 23 September 2020, (semi-)government institutions are internationally required to make their websites fully digitally accessible. Logius is the organisation that provides products and services for the digital government in the Netherlands. Logius offers facilities and standards that all government organisations use in their digital services. All organisations that do not yet have the website in order must have an accessibility statement stating what they will do to achieve this. No deadline has been set (yet) for its implementation. However, measures must be named, including the (time)schedule. It will depend on the measure what is a reasonable period of time is. To this end, the organisations concerned must draw up a declaration. The declaration will be valid for 1 year. The (combined) underlying research results are valid for a maximum of 36 months. Periodically, the parties must be able to show progress. Users should be able to complain on any government website if they encounter a lack of accessibility.
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Besides the government, for whom it is compulsory, other companies and organisations cannot escape having their digital accessibility up to scratch sooner or later. The same rules will apply to them. All to, as stipulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, promote, protect and safeguard the human rights of people with disabilities. Basic principles of the Treaty include accessibility, personal autonomy and full participation. Being able to fully understand and follow digital information is part of that. As a company or organisation, ensuring that digital accessibility is up to standard is a form of corporate social responsibility. Together, we can ensure that no one is excluded and everyone can participate in society on an equal level. Together, we can empower people with disabilities.
What does that mean for you?
People with disabilities may not initially seem like the direct target audience for your video, but interest in your video may come from unexpected quarters.
A person with a visual impairment might want to watch a video on how to become a pilot because the person has a son who would like to do so. A person with an auditory disability might like to watch a music video because they have heard that the lyrics fit the music video so nicely. You can't decide for someone else whether your video is interesting or not. You can make sure that all your videos are accessible to all audiences.
All rules that have been drawn up for digital accessibility do not only apply to the Netherlands. These rules apply internationally. Many countries are already far ahead of the Netherlands. We are working hard to also serve the international market. Scribit.Pro is available in 9 languages: Dutch, Flemish, English, German, French, Polish, Italian, Spanish and Swedish.