Of course, when you have a video to show, you want all your viewers to be able to follow it well. That is why videos must be accessible to people with disabilities. There are European rules and guidelines that determine when a video is considered accessible. These are laid down in the general guidelines for web content accessibility, the so-called WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). The guidelines contain recommendations for making web content more accessible, including methods that apply to videos. These methods make content more accessible to people with disabilities, such as blindness or a visual impairment, deafness or a hearing impairment, limited freedom of movement, speech disorders, sensitivity to light, and combinations of these. They are also helpful for people with learning or cognitive disorders. In fact, following the guidelines often makes web content more useful for users in general.
By editing your video in the editor of scribit.pro and offering in our accessible video player or via the Youtube and a VIMEO widget you are complying with the rules for video accessibility (WCAG 2.1). On our page about WCAG, we are providing an overview of the specific requirements for online videos.If you need more detailed information, please visit the W3.org website.
If you wish to read more about the WCAG guidelines, you can consult the website of W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). W3C is an international community in which affiliated organizations, a full-time staff, and the public collaborate to develop web standards. The mission of W3C is to help the web reach its full potential. W3C has established the guideline that a video is accessible if it comes with:
At our academy, you can learn all about creating effective audio descriptions and subtitles, and about combining these into a text alternative. We are happy to help you with this.
Scribit.pro focuses specifically on making online videos accessible. If you want to ensure that your entire website is fully accessible, there are many parties who can help you by giving information or practical support. Digitaaltoegankelijk.com shares their knowledge, provides targeted advice, and helps businesses and organizations make their websites or apps accessible. All the information they are making available, including on social media channels, makes them a valuable resource. Another good source of information is the Accessibility Foundation (Stichting Accessibility), which provides knowledge and skills, as well as applied training courses for web developers.
(Semi-) government regulations
As of 23 September 2020, public and semi-government institutions are internationally required to ensure their websites are fully digitally accessible. Logius is the organization that provides products and services for the Dutch digital government, offering facilities and standards that all government organizations use as part of their digital services. All organizations with websites that do not yet comply with the regulations, must have an accessibility statement stating how they are planning to resolve this. No deadline has been set for the implementation at this time. However, specific measures must be stated, and a (time) schedule must be included. What is considered a reasonable deadline depends on the type of measure. A statement must be drawn up in which this is laid down. This statement is valid for one year. The (combined) underlying research results are valid for a maximum of 36 months. The parties involved must be able to show progress on a regular basis. Users should be able to lodge a complaint on any government website if they encounter difficulties related to accessibility.
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Not only the government is subject to these requirements. In the long run, other organizations and businesses will also need to address the issue of digital accessibility, as the same regulations will apply to them in the future. All this aims to promote, protect, and guarantee the human rights of people with disabilities, as provided for in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.The fundamental principles of this convention are accessibility, personal autonomy, and full participation. The ability to fully understand and follow digital information is a part of this. When businesses and organizations ensure that their digital accessibility is up to standard, they are taking their corporate social responsibility seriously. Together, we can make sure that no one is excluded, and everyone can participate in society at the same level. Together, we can create a stronger position for people with disabilities.
What does that mean to you?
Initially, people with disabilities may not seem to be the immediate target audience for your video. However, interest in your video may come from unexpected places.
A person with a visual impairment may want to watch a video about becoming a pilot, because he or she has a child with that ambition. A person with a hearing impairment may want to watch a music video because someone said the lyrics and images form such a creative combination. It's not up to you to decide whether or not your video is of interest to someone else. What you can do, is make your videos accessible to all target audiences.
The rules that have been drawn up with regard to digital accessibility not only apply in the Netherlands; they apply internationally. Many countries are already far ahead of the Netherlands. Therefore, we are working hard to conquer the international market as well. Our first step has been to offer the option of selecting ‘English’ as the language to be used on our Dashboard. However, you may benefit more from adding other languages, such as French or German. Please let us know. We would be happy to work on this.