The Web and Media Accessibility Group AMA ๐ŸŽ‰

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Diana Hudson's photo

I think I understand what web accessibility means, but I'm not sure how we can make media files accessible. Can you share some more insights, please?

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Obinna Ekwuno's photo

Media accessibility has is concerned with the more visual aspect of accessibility. It focuses on what people see, understand, and uses. So using the right colors for example, so that people with visual impairments(color blindness, achromatopia, etc. ) Can navigate your platform while understanding what's going on. Essentially how the human eyes can play a role in disabilities and how we can make a better web experience. I have done a talk about this drive.google.com/open?id=1muu3kMdE6JK3wiIUO.. . Please check it out. It offers some insight on how you can understand and implement Media Accessibility

Tatiana Mac's photo

By media files, I am guessing you mean images, videos, audio. (Will edit my answer if you mean something else).

Image

  • Minimising and compressing file size, serving up responsive images in modern formats based on size needed So, if someone is accessing from a small phone, serve them up the smallest possible image while still ensuring integrity. (Fun two-fer, this is also excellent for performance, which also improves access as it mitigates bandwidth/data usage!)
  • Adding alt text / figure captions and learning how to write them concisely (one small example, excluding "Image of"
  • SVG accessibility Ensuring proper titling and use of <text> for any embedded text
  • Understanding the difference between content and decorative elements some images are purely decorative and can exclude alt text, for example (using alt="")

Video

  • Including captioning so that any spoken text is documented in an accessible way. If you're using a hosting platform, I would check with how they implement captioning. Some places like YouTube even have an auto-captioning service. (Be cautious when you use this to check as a real human, but the initial results have been pretty good from my experience!)
  • Understanding the difference between open and closed captioning (generally, closed captioning, which is not permanently burned onto the video is better, as it can adjust for language adaption, for example. Open captioning is a helpful last resort for platforms where CC isn't yet supported, like TikTok or Instagram)
  • Including and understanding audio description, which describes visual scenes so that anything conveyed only visually is announced
  • Including transcripts for people who cognitively or situationally process that information better

Audio accessibility is similar, but removes the dimension of captioning and audio description.

Lastly I would say that accessibility also includes data and bandwidth restrictions. Our tendency in tech is to centre powerful high-end computers and phones, but most of the world is operating on much different equipment and many folks pay by data.

  • Avoid auto-play or download of media (especially for things like chat apps, where people will send more media).
  • Compress media as much as possible
  • Append size of media files with file links, for example, [Video file, 23,5 M]

Hopefully that gives you a start to do more research! ๐Ÿค“