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Understanding SC 1.2.6: Sign Language (Prerecorded) (Level AAA)

In Brief

Videos can be accompanied by sign language.
What to do
Provide sign language interpretation for audio content in existing videos.
Why it's important
People who are deaf or hard of hearing have more ways to understand multimedia content.

Success Criterion (SC)


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.


  • 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.


  • Example 1. A corporation is making an important announcement to all of its employees. The announcement will be held in the main headquarters and later streamed to the Web. A sign language interpreter is provided at the announcement location for the employees that are present in the meeting room. For the Web version of the announcement, the sign language interpreter is shown/superimposed in the corner of the display.
  • Example 2. A university is providing an online version of a particular lecture by creating a synchronized media presentation of the professor delivering the lecture. The presentation includes video of the professor speaking and demonstrating a science experiment. A sign language interpretation of the lecture is created after the lecture and presented on the Web with the synchronized media version.

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

Key Terms


the technology of sound reproduction


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


information captured from a real-world event and transmitted to the receiver with no more than a broadcast delay


A broadcast delay is a short (usually automated) delay, for example used in order to give the broadcaster time to cue or censor the audio (or video) feed, but not sufficient to allow significant editing.


If information is completely computer generated, it is not live.

media alternative for text

media that presents no more information than is already presented in text (directly or via text alternatives)


A media alternative for text is provided for those who benefit from alternate representations of text. Media alternatives for text may be audio-only, video-only (including sign-language video), or audio-video.


information that is not live

sign language

a language using combinations of movements of the hands and arms, facial expressions, or body positions to convey meaning

sign language interpretation

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


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


the technology of moving or sequenced pictures or images


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

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