Understanding Success Criterion 1.2.2: Captions (Prerecorded)

Success Criterion 1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded) (Level A): Captions are provided for all prerecorded audio content in synchronized media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such.

Intent

The intent of this Success Criterion is to enable people who are deaf or hard of hearing to watch synchronized media presentations. Captions provide the part of the content available via the audio track. Captions not only include dialogue, but identify who is speaking and include non-speech information conveyed through sound, including meaningful sound effects.

It is acknowledged that at the present time there may be difficulty in creating captions for time-sensitive material and this may result in the author being faced with the choice of delaying the information until captions are available, or publishing time-sensitive content that is inaccessible to the deaf, at least for the interval until captions are available. Over time, the tools for captioning as well as building the captioning into the delivery process can shorten or eliminate such delays.

Captions are not needed when the synchronized media is, itself, an alternate presentation of information that is also presented via text on the Web page. For example, if information on a page is accompanied by a synchronized media presentation that presents no more information than is already presented in text, but is easier for people with cognitive, language, or learning disabilities to understand, then it would not need to be captioned since the information is already presented on the page in text or in text alternatives (e.g., for images).

See also 1.2.1: Captions (Live).

Benefits

Examples

Related Resources

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.

Guides to Captioning

SMIL Resources

Other Captioning Resources

Captioning Tools

Techniques

Each numbered item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques that the WCAG Working Group deems sufficient for meeting this Success Criterion. However, it is not necessary to use these particular techniques. For information on using other techniques, see Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria, particularly the "Other Techniques" section.

Sufficient Techniques

  1. G93: Providing open (always visible) captions
  2. G87: Providing closed captions using any readily available media format that has a video player that supports closed captioning
  3. G87: Providing closed captions using any of the technology-specific techniques below

Failures

The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of this Success Criterion by the WCAG Working Group.

Key Terms

audio

the technology of sound reproduction

Note

Audio can be created synthetically (including speech synthesis), recorded from real world sounds, or both.

captions

synchronized visual and/or text alternative for both speech and non-speech audio information needed to understand the media content

Note

Captions are similar to dialogue-only subtitles except captions convey not only the content of spoken dialogue, but also equivalents for non-dialogue audio information needed to understand the program content, including sound effects, music, laughter, speaker identification and location.

Note

Closed Captions are equivalents that can be turned on and off with some players.

Note

Open Captions are any captions that cannot be turned off. For example, if the captions are visual equivalent images of text embedded in video.

Note

Captions should not obscure or obstruct relevant information in the video.

Note

In some countries, captions are called subtitles.

Note

Audio descriptions can be, but do not need to be, captioned since they are descriptions of information that is already presented visually.

media alternative for text

media that presents no more information than is already presented in text (directly or via text alternatives)

Note

A media alternative for text is provided for those who benefit from alternate representations of text. Media alternatives for text may be audio-only, video-only (including sign-language video), or audio-video.

prerecorded

information that is not live

synchronized media

audio or video synchronized with another format for presenting information and/or with time-based interactive components, unless the media is a media alternative for text that is clearly labeled as such