Media Players

in Making Audio and Video Media Accessible


Modern browsers provide a default media player. Most have limited functionality to support accessibility.

Rather than coding all the things needed to make a player support accessibility, most organizations choose to use an existing player with good accessibility support.

There are players developed specifically for accessibility. Some are free, open source and some are commercial.

Skills Needed

Using an existing media player developed for accessibility requires moderate HTML skills.

Developing your own accessible media player requires advanced HTML and JavaScript skills.

Player Accessibility Functionality

Accessible media players provide a user interface that works without a mouse, through speech interface, when the page is zoomed larger, and with screen readers. For example, media players need to:

Some media players provide additional accessibility functionality to users such as:

Interactive transcripts use the captions file. Interactive transcripts highlight text phrases as they are spoken. Users can select text in the transcript and go to that point in the video.

More details on player accessibility functionality are in a separate document: Media Accessibility User Requirements.

Existing Players

There is information online about the accessibility of media players. For example, Web-Based Media Player Accessibility Comparison Table (last updated July 2016) .

Each media player provides documentation of the steps to set it up in a web page. For example, AblePlayer Setup Steps .

Support for Description Methods

Media player functionality is required for some methods of providing description of visual information (called audio description, video description, or described video), as explained in the Description page. To the best of our knowledge, the following media players provide such functionality:

(If you know of other players that provide that functionality, please let us know via GitHub or e-mail with the links in Help improve this page below. Thanks!)

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