Making Audio and Video Media Accessible – W3C WAI Guidance


Presented at 11:15am in Standley II Lab on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.



  • Shawn Henry, Accessibility Education and Outreach Lead, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) / MIT

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


This session covers creating new media, making existing media accessible, project management (in-house and outsourced), return on investment (ROI) for organizations, and understanding the user experience. It introduces a new free online resource and invites attendees to ask questions, share experiences, and contribute to media accessibility.


This session covers topics from a new free online resource from the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI): Making Audio and Video Media Accessible. It invites attendees to ask questions, share experiences, and contribute to media accessibility.

It helps attendees understand and create: * captions/subtitles * audio description of visual information * descriptive transcripts * sign language for media

It includes guidance: * for creating new videos * on media player accessibility

The planning and project management sections address considerations for outsourcing or in-house development.

The presentation starts by introducing user experiences and benefits to organizations -- illustrating how digital *accessibility is essential for some and useful for all*.


  1. Make new and existing audio and video media accessible, including media players
  2. Planning and project management for outsourcing and in-house development
  3. Understand user experiences, and benefits to your educational institution

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Accessible Educational Materials, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Shawn Henry

Shawn Henry leads worldwide education and outreach promoting web accessibility for people with disabilities at the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), holds a research appointment at MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and holds an MSc in Digital Inclusion. Prior to joining WAI, she consulted with organizations to optimize user interface design for usability and accessibility. Shawn focuses her personal passion for accessibility on bringing together the needs of individuals and the goals of organizations in designing human-computer interfaces. Her book _Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design_ offers an approach for developing products that are more usable for everyone.