Understanding WCAG 2.0

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Full Text Alternative:
Understanding SC 1.2.7

1.2.7 Full Text Alternative: A full text alternative for synchronized media including any interaction is provided for all prerecorded synchronized media, except if the synchronized media is an alternative to text and is clearly labeled as such . (Level AAA)

Intent of this Success Criterion

The intent of this Success Criterion is to make audio visual material available to individuals whose vision is too poor to reliably read captions and whose hearing is too poor to reliably hear dialogue and audio description. This is done by providing a full text alternative for synchronized media including any interaction.

This approach involves providing all of the information in the synchronized media (both visual and auditory) in text form. A full text alternative for synchronized media including any interaction provides a running description of all that is going on in the synchronized media content. The full text alternative for synchronized media reads something like a book. Unlike audio description, the description of the video portion is not constrained to just the pauses in the existing dialogue. Full descriptions are provided of all visual information, including visual context, actions and expressions of actors, and any other visual material. In addition, non-speech sounds (laughter, off-screen voices, etc.) are described, and transcripts of all dialogue are included. The sequence of descriptions and dialogue transcripts is the same as the sequence in the synchronized media itself. As a result, the full text alternative for synchronized media can provide a much more complete representation of the synchronized media content than audio description alone.

If there is any interaction as part of the synchronized media presentation (e.g. "press now to answer the question") then the full text alternative for synchronized media would provide hyperlinks or whatever is needed to provide parallel functionality.

Individuals whose vision is too poor to reliably read captions and whose hearing is too poor to reliably hear dialogue can access the full text alternative for synchronized media by using a refreshable braille display.

Note 1: For 1.2.2, 1.2.3, and 1.2.7, if all of the information in the video track is already provided in the audio track, no audio description is necessary.

Note 2: 1.2.2, 1.2.4, and 1.2.7 overlap somewhat with each other. This is to give the author some choice at the minimum conformance level, and to provide additional requirements at higher levels. At Level A in Success Criterion 1.2.2, authors do have the choice of providing either an audio description or a full text alternative. If they wish to conform at Level AA, under Success Criterion 1.2.4 authors must provide an audio description - a requirement already met if they chose that alternative for 1.2.2, otherwise an additional requirement. At Level AAA under Success Criterion 1.2.7 they must provide an extended text description. This is an additional requirement if both 1.2.2 and 1.2.4 were met by providing an audio description only. If 1.2.2 was met, however, by providing a text description, and the 1.2.4 requirement for an audio description was met, then 1.2.7 does not add new requirements.

Specific Benefits of Success Criterion 1.2.7:

  • People who cannot see well or at all and who also cannot hear well or at all can get access to information in audio-visual presentations.

Examples of Success Criterion 1.2.7

Related Resources

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.

(none currently documented)

Techniques and Failures for Success Criterion 1.2.7 - Full Text Alternative

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. The techniques listed only satisfy the Success Criterion if all of the WCAG 2.0 conformance requirements have been met.

Sufficient Techniques

  1. G69: Providing a full synchronized media text alternative including any interaction using one of the following techniques

Additional Techniques (Advisory) for 1.2.7

Although not required for conformance, the following additional techniques should be considered in order to make content more accessible. Not all techniques can be used or would be effective in all situations.

Failures for SC 1.2.7

The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of Success Criterion 1.2.7 by the WCAG Working Group.

Key Terms

full text alternative for synchronized media including any interaction

document including correctly sequenced text descriptions of all visual settings, actions, speakers, and non-speech sounds, and transcript of all dialogue combined with a means of achieving any outcomes that are achieved using interaction (if any) during the synchronized media

Note: A screenplay used to create the synchronized media content would meet this definition only if it was corrected to accurately represent the final synchronized media after editing.

media alternative to text

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

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