Understanding Success Criterion 1.2.8: Media Alternative (Prerecorded)

An alternative for time-based media is provided for all prerecorded synchronized media and for all prerecorded video-only media.

Intent of Success Criterion 1.2.8: Media Alternative (Prerecorded)

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 an alternative for time-based media.

This approach involves providing all of the information in the synchronized media (both visual and auditory) in text form. An alternative for time-based media provides a running description of all that is going on in the synchronized media content. The alternative for time-based 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 alternative for time-based 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 alternative for time-based 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 alternative for time-based media by using a refreshable braille display.

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.

Benefits of Success Criterion 1.2.8: Media Alternative (Prerecorded)

Examples of Success Criterion 1.2.8: Media Alternative (Prerecorded)

Resources Success Criterion 1.2.8: Media Alternative (Prerecorded)

Techniques for Success Criterion 1.2.8: Media Alternative (Prerecorded)

Sufficient Techniques

Situation A: If the content is prerecorded synchronized media:

  1. Providing an alternative for time-based media including any interaction using one of the following techniques

  2. Linking to the alternative for time-based media using one of the following techniques

Situation B: If the content is prerecorded video-only:

  1. Providing a full text transcript of the video content

Advisory Techniques

Failures