video elements must have an audio description track

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Rule Description

The HTML5 <video> element must have an audio description track to provide blind users with information the dialogue does not.

The Algorithm, in Simple Terms

Ensures that every HTML5 <video> element has an audio description.

Why this is Important

While blind people can hear the audio content of videos with no issue, they miss visual aspects of films such as facial expressions and scenes. Audio descriptions fill in these gaps with the context blind people need to get all the information a video conveys.

How to Fix the Problem

Ensure that all <video> elements have audio descriptions that provide all relevant information that dialogue cannot. Examples of relevant information aside from dialogue include facial expressions and scenes.

Compliance Data & User Impact

User Impact: Serious
Disabilities Affected:
  • Blindness
Issue Type:
  • WCAG 2.0 (AA): MUST
  • Section 508: MUST
  • WCAG 2.1 (AA): MUST
WCAG Success Criteria:
  • 1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded)
Section 508 Guidelines:
  • 1194.22 (b) Multimedia presentation alternatives synchronization

Related Deque University Course Pages

Other Related Resources

Additional Information

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