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Technique G87:Providing closed captions

About this Technique

This technique is Sufficient to meet 1.2.2: Captions (Prerecorded) and Sufficient to meet 1.2.2: Captions (Prerecorded), using a more specific technique. and Sufficient to meet 1.2.4: Captions (Live), if combined with G9: Creating captions for live synchronized media and Sufficient to meet 1.2.4: Captions (Live), if combined with G9: Creating captions for live synchronized media, using a more specific technique. .


Any audiovideo technology where there are user agents that support closed captions.

This technique relates to:


The objective of this technique is to provide a way for people who have hearing impairments or otherwise have trouble hearing the dialogue in synchronized media material to be able to view the material and see the dialogue and sounds - without requiring people who are not deaf to watch the captions. With this technique all of the dialogue and important sounds are embedded as text in a fashion that causes the text not to be visible unless the user requests it. As a result they are visible only when needed. This requires special support for captioning in the user agent.

NOTE: Captions should not be confused with subtitles. Subtitles provide text of only the dialogue and do not include important sounds.


Example 1

In order to ensure that users who are deaf can use their interactive educational materials, the college provides captions and instructions for turning on captions for all of their audio interactive educational programs.

Example 2

The online movies at a media outlet all include captions and are provided in a format that allows embedding of closed captions.

Example 3

Special caption files including synchronization information are provided for an existing movie. Players are available that can play the captions in a separate window on screen, synchronized with the movie window.

Example 4

A video of a local news event has captions provided that can be played over the video or in a separate window depending on the player used.

Other sources

No endorsement implied.

Guides to Captioning


Other Captioning



  1. Turn on the closed caption feature of the media player
  2. View the synchronized media content
  3. Check that captions (of all dialogue and important sounds) are visible

Expected Results

  • #3 is true

Test Rules

The following are Test Rules related to this Technique. It is not necessary to use these particular Test Rules to check for conformance with WCAG, but they are defined and approved test methods. For information on using Test Rules, see Understanding Test Rules for WCAG Success Criteria.

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