Video Accessibility: Reaching Wider Audiences
Video content has become a powerful tool for communication, entertainment, and marketing in this digital era. However, to truly connect with a diverse audience, it is crucial to ensure that video content is accessible to everyone, including individuals with special needs.
In this article, we will explore the importance of video accessibility and how incorporating features like closed captions, audio descriptions, and inclusive design principles can enable businesses to reach a broader audience.
1. Understanding Video Accessibility
Businesses should make their videos available for everyone. This means they should add a description of what’s happening so that people who can’t see the video can visualize it with help. Making your content and design clear and simple enough so that most people can use it regardless of the impairments they may have”. It means that people with disabilities can equally perceive, understand, navigate, interact with websites and tools.
Let’s get started with the tips!
- Choose colors with contrast. Color is one important consideration when making videos. Color contrast describes the difference of color hues and tones. You have to make sure that the contrast between colors is high enough so that users can easily tell what color each thing is. The best way is to use a color contrast ratio of 4.5:1. It is important to have enough contrast so that people with bad eyes can see the difference between colors. Blue and orange are contrasting colors whereas yellow and orange are not.
- Pay attention to fonts. Some people can’t read because of their disability. They want to use letters in a font that’s easy to read. Fonts can be used to make it easier for people with dyslexia or low vision to read. Fonts like Arial, Helvetica, and Verdana are great choices.
- Use an accessible video player.
- Create high-quality audio. Making videos that blind people can watch doesn’t only involve the video, but how it’s sent to them. It should have words that talk about who is talking, and also have buttons for changing it to descriptions and audio. You may use an audio editor a professional audio editor for studio-quality recordings
- Add captions/subtitles. People who are deaf or listening to a quiet video have trouble understanding it. Captions make it easier for them. Some people aren’t deaf or listening to a quiet video but they might be in a loud place and want to read the words; they can use closed captions for that reason too. Moreover, if you want people to see your video when it’s shared on social media, you should add captions or audio to text for automatic audio transcription so they can use it even when the sound is off.
2. Inclusive Design Principles: Beyond Compliance
It’s smart to think about the needs of every kind of person watching videos. Don’t just make your video files accessible to those with special needs—design your videos to be inclusive and cater to everyone who wants to watch it. If a person without arms watches a video, they want to watch it in the same way someone with arms watches it. It is a more wholesome and holistic approach if a video is created with inclusivity and diversity in mind.
3. Tools and Technologies for Video Accessibility
When making videos, always keep in mind that everyone will watch it—those with special needs and those without. As stated previously, adding captions, subtitles, and audio descriptions to your videos will really go a long way. You can use various tools and technologies available like video editor to help you add closed captions or audio descriptions and edit videos with high quality.
4. Addressing Challenges and Misconceptions
It is important to discuss common challenges faced by businesses in implementing video accessibility and address misconceptions that may hinder their adoption of inclusive practices. Once these are identified, it is essential to provide solutions and resources to overcome these obstacles. Many businesses don’t have video for blind people and many people think videos for blind people are expensive.
Challenges Faced by Businesses in Implementing Video Accessibility:
- Lack of Awareness: One of the most common challenges is simply not being aware of the need for video accessibility. Many businesses may not fully understand the importance of reaching a wider audience, including people with disabilities, through accessible video content.
- Cost and Resources: Some businesses perceive video accessibility as an expensive endeavor. They may believe that creating captions, audio descriptions, and implementing inclusive design requires significant financial investments and specialized resources.
- Limited Expertise: The technical aspects of video accessibility can be daunting for businesses with limited expertise in this area. Companies might struggle with finding qualified personnel who understand accessibility standards and can effectively implement them.
- Time Constraints: Businesses might be hesitant to invest time in retrofitting existing video content with accessibility features, especially when they have a large video library. They may prioritize other projects over accessibility initiatives.
- Misconceptions About the Target Audience: Some businesses may mistakenly assume that people with special needs are not a significant portion of their target audience or that accessible content won’t make a substantial impact on their business.
5. Promoting Video Accessibility: Raising Awareness
Always keep in mind that each individual watching a video has his or her own reason. Hence, if you use audio or video for a business, you would want your video to be accessible for everyone. It is important to help people with special needs to see videos better. Some videos are difficult for people with special needs to watch. Nowadays sharing videos on social media is not an issue. Converting videos from WebM to MP4 format and other video formats online can significantly improve your ability to share them on social media platforms.
Summarize the importance of video accessibility in reaching a diverse and inclusive audience. Encourage businesses and content creators to prioritize accessibility in their video marketing efforts to foster a more accessible and equitable digital environment for all viewers.