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Alternative Formats and Multimedia

Lesson 2 of Section 2

Alternative Formats

While a majority of browsing content is presented on the web page itself, sometimes the user is required to download PDF documents, Word documents, and other various rich content. Not only do you have to provide accessible web pages, the documents being made available on them must also be accessible! Here are external links to guides that explain accessibility for various types of documents:


With higher bandwidth and technology becoming more readily available, it is now easier to create rich video and audio content for your website or online course. However, we always have to bear accessibility in mind. What if the video is relaying information a blind user can't see, or information a deaf user can't hear? You have to account for this and provide some type of alternative so the user can experience the media in the same way any user would.

A major platform that exists for videos is YouTube. It's a great website to provide content because it offers various levels of privacy for uploaded videos, has an organization/search system, and offers accessibility features such as simple closed captioning. It will even automatically caption videos using voice recognition software. You must ensure that correct captions are provided along with a YouTube video in order to deem it as accessible content.

If automatic caption are unavailable or incomplete, you will need to edit the captions manually. The tasks is easier when a transcript has been made available to you. This allows you to cut and paste the lines into the video, leaving you to only line up the cues for when each line begins. For directions on how to caption a video, see YouTube captioning support.

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