Creating accessible video content

Produce video content that is accessible for all visitors to our website.

Before you start

Please read the guidelines on starting a new project or contact our video manager before creating any video content for the web.

How to create video that meets web accessibility standards

All video content created for the web must meet current WCAG web accessibility standards. This is to ensure that all visitors to our website are able to access the video content.

In order to do this all videos must:


Video content must have captions. This is to provide users with an auditory impairment access to what is being said in the video. These must be checked and approved, auto generated captions that have not been corrected are not acceptable. Captions must include all dialogue.

Note that these regulations apply to pre-recorded, not live, content. Regulations allow for up to 14 days after the video has been published, for captions to be added. This is minimum guidance, and we should try to add captions to live events more quickly.

Auto generated captions can be downloaded from Vimeo or Panopto and corrected. These are then uploaded back to the video hosting platform.


Every video we display online requires a transcript. A transcript is a pure text translation of a video's audio, without timestamps. Screen readers and other accessibility tools use transcripts to help people who can't see the video understand the video's content.

Some visitors, including non-native English speakers, may prefer to read a transcript rather than watch a video so we should format transcripts for readability by using paragraphs. No other formatting, such as headings or lists, is required.

However, to deliver the best possible experience, a video transcript should communicate more than just speech; it should also clearly identify who is speaking (if the speaker is not identifiable use “Student 1, Student 2 etc) and include essential non-speech sounds using square brackets, for example [LAUGHTER] or [SILENCE].

Use descriptive text where appropriate. If the speaker refers to a visual, such as a figure or a table, but does not describe the information in that figure or chart (e.g., “Figure 1 shows the direction of this trend”) then the transcript must include a description of the figure, in brackets. (Note: when recording lectures, it is best for the presenter to describe a visual when referring to it for a variety of reasons; not everyone will be able to view the visuals (e.g., technical difficulties). Some learners will rely solely on audio or transcripts.)

In brackets, include descriptions of relevant emotions and other nuances of speech (e.g., “Please stay with me” [whispered]).

In brackets, include description of relevant non-speech audio (e.g., “[gas being released from a compressed nitrogen tank]”).

What to omit:

Descriptions of background noise that are not relevant to the content.

Timestamps (unless including a timestamp is relevant and important to navigation).

If you've captioned/subtitled your video using YouTube or other software, you may be able to download the .srt file of the text. Use this as the basis for your transcript.

Hosting video on our website

All video is to be hosted using Vimeo and the video component found in our components library. For more information on why we use Vimeo as a video hosting service visit our page on commissioning video

An example of a video with captions and a transcript

Add the video heading here

  • Video transcript

    [Intro MUSIC: Fast paced indie rock]

    [Video footage of University of Sussex campus in the 1960’s and 1970’s inside a 60 graphic cutout]

    Alum 1: I was here in the Sixties.

    Student 2: We came in the Seventies when it was still pretty radical.

    [Camera shutter noise with photos of University of Sussex campus in the 1960’s and 1970’s]

    Student 3: We were very lucky of how we lived university life.

    Student 4: We were the golden generation.

    Student 5: Just a bang up, hell of a good time.

    Student 6: It’s really lovely to be celebrating 60 years.

    Student 7: This is the first time I’ve been here in 40 years.

    Student 8: It’s actually been really lovely.

    Student 9: It is fantastic to be here.

    Student 10: You do feel kind of a nostalgia.

    Student 1: Just bumping into people, I remember or people who remember me is really nice and feel the community connection with Sussex.

    Student 11: We haven’t seen each other in nearly 30 years. It was like no time had ever passed. It’s been really, really good.

    Student 12: It was a very exciting place to live and it’s still a very exciting place to be.

    Student 13: It’s really nice to be back here. There’s a real buzz.

    Student 14: I’m looking forward to getting on the dance floor later on. [Laughs]

    Student 15: Thank you Sussex University.

    [TITLE CARD 'Making memories']

    Student 16: Between you and me, I don’t know how I survived the Sixties, honestly.

    [END CARD. University of Sussex logo]