audio elements must have a track for captions

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Rule Description

For each HTML5 <audio> element, the <track> element must be present, with kind="captions" set as a property. Captions are text—synchronized with the audio file—of the dialog, narration, and any important auditory information, for the benefit of deaf users.

The Algorithm, in Simple Terms

Checks the use of all HTML5 <audio> elements to ensure each contains a <track> element with the kind attribute value "captions".

Why this is Important

Without a caption for an audio file, deaf users are not able to know the meaningful information that the audio conveys such as identifying who is speaking, its dialogue, and non-speech information conveyed through sound such as musical cues or sound effects. Captions provide the part of the content that is available via the audio track.

How to Fix the Problem

Ensure the kind attribute of the <track> element contains the value "captions". Ensure the caption text content conveys all meaningful information in the <audio> element such as who is speaking, a transcript of the dialogue, musical cues, and sound effects.

Compliance Data & User Impact

User Impact: Critical
Disabilities Affected:
  • Deafness
  • Deafblindness
Issue Type:
  • WCAG 2.0 (A): MUST
  • Section 508: MUST
  • WCAG 2.1 (A): MUST
WCAG Success Criteria:
  • 1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded)
Section 508 Guidelines:
  • 1194.22 (a) Text equivalent for non-text elements

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Other Related Resources

Additional Information

Relevant Technologies:
  • HTML5
Test Reliability: Automated testing is possible, with high accuracy
Rule ID: audio-caption