Understanding Success Criterion 1.2.5: Audio Description (Prerecorded)

Success Criterion 1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded) (Level AA): Audio description is provided for all prerecorded video content in synchronized media.


The intent of this Success Criterion is to provide people who are blind or visually impaired access to the visual information in a synchronized media presentation. The audio description augments the audio portion of the presentation with the information needed when the video portion is not available. During existing pauses in dialogue, audio description provides information about actions, characters, scene changes, and on-screen text that are important and are not described or spoken in the main sound track.

For 1.2.3, 1.2.5, 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.

1.2.3, 1.2.5, and 1.2.8 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 1.2.3, 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 1.2.5 authors must provide an audio description - a requirement already met if they chose that alternative for 1.2.3, otherwise an additional requirement. At Level AAA under Success Criterion 1.2.8 they must provide an extended text description. This is an additional requirement if both 1.2.3 and 1.2.5 were met by providing an audio description only. If 1.2.3 was met, however, by providing a text description, and the 1.2.5 requirement for an audio description was met, then 1.2.8 does not add new requirements.



Related Resources

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.


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. G78: Providing a second, user-selectable, audio track that includes audio descriptions
  2. G78 AND SL1
  3. Providing a version of a movie with audio descriptions using one of the following:

  4. Providing a movie with extended audio descriptions using one of the following:

  5. G203

Advisory Techniques

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.


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

Key Terms


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


the technology of moving or sequenced pictures or images

Video can be made up of animated or photographic images, or both.