Use Video and Audio Where Appropriate, but Also Provide Alternative Content

  • Get My Story: Nick Lenio Commercial

    Transcript: When you lead, it’s about doing the right thing. It’s about teamwork. It’s about being able to inspire others through your actions—to make them dream more, do more, or become more. Taking advantage of small opportunities can help shape a great leader. Leadership—they teach it here. I’m Nick Lenio and you can get my story at 0:30, 2.82 MB

    Watch this video with Windows Media or on YouTube.

    The video above includes a transcript, visible to screen readers and visitors without Flash.

  • Do you want to have audio or video on your site? Great! But don’t forget to provide a text alternative.

    Make no mistake, we want you to use video on your site. (And we want to host it on our YouTube channel, where the usual ten-minute time limit does not apply.)

    But a number of key audiences—search engines, the visually impaired, the hearing impaired, users on cell phones, and users with limited bandwidth—may not be able to use your video unless you supply a textual alternative.

    In other words, if you put everything about your program into a video, but don’t also put that information on your website as regular text, you make yourself invisible to search engines and unusable for a growing segment of our website audience.

    Ideally your textual alternative would be a transcript and would include all the information in the video or audio. This is a great project for a work-study student. Advances in speech recognition are making transcript production easier every year. But transcripts do take time.

    More practically: provide a summary for every video you put on your site. And make sure that any important information you provide in the video also exists somewhere else on your site.