Understanding WCAG 2.0

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Sign Language (Prerecorded):
Understanding SC 1.2.6

1.2.6 Sign Language (Prerecorded): Sign language interpretation is provided for all prerecorded audio content in synchronized media. (Level AAA)

Intent of this Success Criterion

The intent of this Success Criterion is to enable people who are deaf or hard of hearing and who are fluent in a sign language to understand the content of the audio track of synchronized media presentations. Written text, such as that found in captions, is often a second language. Because sign language provides the ability to provide intonation, emotion and other audio information that is reflected in sign language interpretation, but not in captions, sign language interpretation provides richer and more equivalent access to synchronized media. People who communicate extensively in sign language are also faster in sign language and synchronized media is a time-based presentation.

Specific Benefits of Success Criterion 1.2.6:

  • People whose human language is a sign language sometimes have limited reading ability. These individuals may not be able to read and comprehend the captions and thus require a sign language interpretation to gain access to the synchronized media content.

Examples of Success Criterion 1.2.6

Related Resources

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.

Techniques and Failures for Success Criterion 1.2.6 - Sign Language (Prerecorded)

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.

Additional Techniques (Advisory) for 1.2.6

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.

Metadata Techniques

  • Using metadata to associate sign language alternatives of a video to enable choice of sign language (future link)

    • EXAMPLE: Providing, in metadata, URI(s) that point to several English sign language translations (ASL, SASL, BSL, Auslan, ISL, NZSL) of a Web page.

Common Failures for SC 1.2.6

The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of Success Criterion 1.2.6 by the WCAG Working Group.

(No failures currently documented)

Key Terms


the technology of sound reproduction

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


information that is not live

sign language interpretation

translation of one language, generally a spoken language, into a sign language

Note: True sign languages are independent languages that are unrelated to the spoken language(s) of the same country or region.

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