Making a Multimedia Website

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factfile2.9 Multimedia and Accessibility


Websites can be enhanced with multimedia to make them more accessible to disabled users. A web page could be enhanced with audio to help visually impaired visitors who cannot see the text. Blind or partially sighted computer users can use supplementary screen-reading software which will read out any text on the screen for them.

However, multimedia may not always enhance a site. Too much embedded multimedia can interfere with screen-reading software and prevent it from reading the page in the correct order. Many sites offer a "text only" version of their pages to avoid this problem.

The website of the Equality and Human Rights Commission has its own embedded screen reader, avoiding the need for expensive additional software. The software converts the text to speech rather than simply playing pre-recorded audio files.

EHRC website

Hearing Impaired users will not be able to hear sound on video clips. It may help to provide a subtitled version of the video, or a link to a text file with a transcript of the dialogue. For example, some videos on the Equality Commission website often come in three different versions; the original one, one with subtitles (Closed Captioning) and one with British Sign Language overlaid. A transcript of the dialogue is also often available. Some YouTube videos now also come with closed captioning.

subtitles and sign language

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