1.2.1 Time based media - video only

Guideline 1.2 is that you must provide alternatives for time based media. This is then broken down into categories. The first category deals with pre-recorded audio only or video only. This post will look at video only.

What is video-only media?

This is most easily explained with an example but basically includes things like mime, animation and video that shows text without any audio support. 

I found this lovely animation by South Eastern Guide Dogs:

This is a lovely animated video that tells a story without words. It reminds me of the Pixar Short Films that I used to use with my year 3 and 4 classes to inspire creative writing. However, now imagine that you are blind. You would not be able to access this film at all.

Audio description

I once accidentally turned this on for a movie I was watching, and I couldn't work out how to turn it off. And that is often the downside of audio description... it isn't as easy to just toggle it on/off as it is with subtitles (which we will come onto in a later post). In my opinion though, it gives the best user experience. 

If I was making a video only resource, I would probably do the same as South Eastern Guide Dogs did, and make two versions, one without audio description and one with. 

Here is their audio described version:

Producing the audio description

In reality, the aim here is to provide access to your resource for a visually impaired person. So, in that sense, it is better to do it than put it off whilst waiting for the right person/voice to come along. Having said that, if you have a team, I would definitely choose someone with a good acting voice. I have a man in my team who does a lot of voice over work and he can really use his voice to tell a story. So I would script it (just like my year 3 and 4 kids used to do) and then get him to record the audio layer. 

If he was not around though, I'd just do it myself. Access is more important than artistic licence! 

In terms of software, most video editing software allows you to record audio but I would probably use Adobe Audition to record it and then import that into my Premiere Pro file. That's just me though. Again doing it is more important than how you do it.


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