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Video Accessibility

To be accessible, videos need to work for people who are deaf, people who are blind, and people with seizure disorders. Here's how:

Quick Tips

  1. Flashing - avoid it. 
    • Flashing can cause some people to have photo-sensitive seizures.
    • Don't include anything that flashes more than 3 times in 1 second. 
  2. Narration - include it. 
    • Narrate the video so people who are blind understand what is shown. 
    • If the video shows slides or other text, you don't have to read it word-for-word, but do need narrate what it means in case someone can't see it. Be sure to hit all the key points, including anything that is highlighted. Do not tell users to read what is on the screen or provide long pauses where users are expected to read what's showing.
    • If the video doesn't have narration, provide a text transcript that explains what it shows.
  3. Captions - add them.
    • If your video includes speech, add captions so people who are deaf can read along.
    • You can use Microsoft Stream or YouTube to create captions -- see below for how. You can also use Adobe Premier and similar video editing tools.
    • Download the captions as a VTT (Video Text Tracks) file and provide it to whoever posts your videos. 
    • If you ever need to edit your VTT, use Notepad or another text editor and be careful not to edit the line with times. 

Creating Captions

Captions can be automatically created using tools like Adobe Premiere, Microsoft Stream, YouTube, and Webex. Here are instructions on how to do it (for free) using Stream or YouTube:

Using Microsoft Stream

  1. If you have a Microsoft Office account, go to and login.
  2. At the Stream website, click Upload and select your video MP4 file.
  3. After uploading, the Stream web app should open (you may need to allow pop-ups).
  4. In Video Settings, click "Transcript and captions" and then click the Generate button
  5. Wait while the captions are generated. (It can take twice as long as the length of the video.)
  6. After the captions are generated, click the Transcript tab on the right.
  7. Scroll through the transcript and click Edit to make any corrections.
  8. Open the Download dropdown, pick Download as .vtt, and choose where to save the file.

Using YouTube

  1. See YouTube Help: Add Subtitles and Captions
  2. Wait while the captions are generated. (It can take several hours.)
  3. View your video YouTube Studio and click Subtitles in the left menu. (If nothing shows in the list, check again later.)
  4. When a subtitles listing appears, click the three-dot options menu to the right of Edit, pick Download, and select .vtt