Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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G158: Providing an alternative for time-based media for audio-only content


General technique. Applies to all technologies.

This technique relates to:


The purpose of this technique is to provide an accessible alternative way of presenting the information in an audio-only presentation.

In an audio-only presentation, information is presented in a variety of ways including dialogue and sounds (both natural and artificial). In order to present the same information in accessible form, this technique involves creating a document that tells the same story and presents the same information as the prerecorded audio-only content. In this technique, the document serves as long description for the content and includes all of the important dialogue and as well as descriptions of background sounds etc. that are part of the story.

If an actual script was used to create the audio-only content in the first place, this can be a good place to start. In production and editing however, the content often varies somewhat from the script. For this technique, the original script would be corrected to match the dialogue and what actually happens in the final edited form of the audio presentation.



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  1. View the audio-only content while referring to the alternative for time-based media.

  2. Check that the dialogue in the transcript matches the dialogue and information presented in the audio-only presentation.

  3. If the audio includes multiple voices, check that the transcript identifies who is speaking for all dialogue.

  4. Check that at least one of the following is true:

    1. The transcript itself can be programmatically determined from the text alternative for the audio-only content

    2. The transcript is referred to from the programmatically determined text alternative for the audio-only content

  5. If the alternate version(s) are on a separate page, check for the availability of link(s) to allow the user to get to the other versions.

Expected Results

If this is a sufficient technique for a success criterion, failing this test procedure does not necessarily mean that the success criterion has not been satisfied in some other way, only that this technique has not been successfully implemented and can not be used to claim conformance.

Techniques are Informative

Techniques are informative—that means they are not required. The basis for determining conformance to WCAG 2.0 is the success criteria from the WCAG 2.0 standard—not the techniques. For important information about techniques, please see the Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria section of Understanding WCAG 2.0.