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Video Accessibility Guide

A guide to making video tutorials accessible for users with diverse needs.

YouTube Useful Tools

Google has a good tutorial about uploading videos to YouTube available.

  • Know YouTube’s privacy options and upload your video accordingly:
    • Public: anyone can find and view your video
    • Unlisted: anyone who has the link can view your video, but it won’t show up in search results
    • Private: only the account that uploaded the video can view or find it

Once you’ve uploaded your video, you have to activate captions for YouTube to auto-generate a set of captions for you and then you can do some basic clean up to ensure the quality and accuracy of the captions.

  • If you go in to Edit your newly uploaded video, access “More options” and there is a section labelled “Original video language, subtitles, and CC”.
  • Select the language (and regional dialect/variant if applicable) in this section and YouTube will use your choice to generate captions. You should then see a new set of Subtitles and CC appear under the dropdown.
  • Download the subtitle file it generated and open it in a Notepad or TextEditor app, and add appropriate punctuation or correct obvious mistakes in the auto-generated text. Save the file without changing the extension.
  • Using the “Upload subtitles/CC” and the “with timing” option it offers, re-upload the file you had downloaded and updated in the previous step.
    • Save your changes at this point before continuing
  • Click on three dots on top of one another at the right side of the grey bubble which says “[Language] by YouTube (automatic)”, or if you’ve edited them it will say “[Language] by you”. Clicking these three dots (referred to by Google as a “kebab menu”) will offer you the option to “edit on Classic Studio”. Select that option.
    • In Classic Studio, click the “Edit” button in the top right corner.
    • Use the editor to finesse the timing of your captions (under the video), make corrections, or make additions (along the left side of the editor).
    • Play the video through at least once to ensure the captions are appearing as you wanted them.
    • When you’re satisfied, click the “Publish edits” button in the top right corner. YouTube will likely show you a pop-up double-checking that you’d like to overwrite the existing version of your captions with this newly edited version. Accept the overwriting by pressing “Publish” to continue.
  • You can download the completed subtitle file from YouTube in a variety of formats if you would like to use it in other programs as well.
  • If you’ve made your video public, you may also want to adjust the “Comments and Ratings” options right below the “Original video language, subtitles, and CC” section.
    • We recommend you either “hold all comments for review” or “disable comments” entirely to avoid “trolls” or “trolling”