WCAG 1.2.1 Alternatives for Audio-Only and Video-Only Content

For all prerecorded video-only files (no dialogue) and/or audio-only files (no video), make a text transcript available. You may also record a synchronized audio track (or audio description) of what is happening inside the video as an alternative to the text transcript.

What to do:

  • add a text transcript link or full text transcript near the audio or video file
  • for video-only, you may add an option to turn on an audio description within the video itself or create a separate video with the audio description. An audio description will convey all of the important visual content found in the video. As we are only dealing with video-only files in this success criteria, we don’t have to work in the description during pauses.


Plain English Explanation:

Here we’re focused on media files that are only audio or only video.

A prime example of an audio-only file is a podcast. For a podcast, you want to provide a full text transcript.

For a video-only file in which there is no dialogue, you want to provide either a full text transcript or the option to hear an audio description of what is taking place in the video.

There is definitely some overlap with 1.1.1 and we will see overlap with other success criteria as well.

Understanding 1.2.1