Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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G159: Providing an alternative for time-based media for video-only content

Important Information about Techniques

See Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria for important information about the usage of these informative techniques and how they relate to the normative WCAG 2.0 success criteria. The Applicability section explains the scope of the technique, and the presence of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all situations to create content that meets WCAG 2.0.


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 a video-only presentation.

In a video-only presentation, information is presented in a variety of ways including animation, text or graphics, the setting and background, the actions and expressions of people, animals, etc. 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 video-only content. In this technique, the document serves as a long description for the content and includes all of the important information as well as descriptions of scenery, actions, expressions, etc. that are part of the presentation.

If a screenplay for the video-only content was used to create the content in the first place, this can be a good place to start. In production and editing however, the final version often varies somewhat from the screenplay. To use the screenplay, it would need to be corrected to match the final edited form of the video-only presentation.



No resources available for this technique.



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

  2. Check that the information in the transcript includes the same information that is in the video-only presentation.

  3. If the video includes multiple people or characters, check that the transcript identifies which person or character is associated with each action described.

  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 video-only content

    2. The transcript is referred to from the programmatically determined text alternative for the video-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.