Making Video Content Accessible

Online learning, whether for students or employees, provides a number of advantages, including increased accessibility. Individuals with disabilities of different types can learn effectively with appropriate and accessible video learning, and many of the same strategies can facilitate learning for English language learners or those with varied learning styles.

What Makes Video Content Accessible

Take a moment and think about the last time you watched a video online. You likely didn’t turn on the closed captioning, pay any attention to whether keyboard shortcuts were available, and might not even know what audio description is. Without these accessibility features, video learning can be very inaccessible–in order to use it effectively, you need to be able to see, to hear, and to have adequate mobility to move a mouse, touchpad, or use a touch screen.

Fortunately, modern technology offers solutions that make video learning accessible to all learners, regardless of any visual, auditory, or mobility challenges they may face. To help everyone get the most out of your video content, you need to understand how each of these accessibility features work. 

  • Closed captioning is the most familiar accessibility feature. Closed captioning simply produces a text version of the audio content in the video. Captions can be auto-generated, relying upon computer software, created by human captioning service, or can be improved upon or adapted from a computer-generated caption file.
  • Keyboard shortcuts enable viewers to control various functions of an HTML5 Media Player using only the keyboard. Using a mouse can require much more precise movements than controlling a keyboard; in fact, with the right software, a keyboard can be controlled by voice.
  • Audio descriptions may be the most unfamiliar to many users. Audio descriptions are a secondary audio track that provides information about what’s visually on screen.

Integrating Accessibility

Accessibility options are wonderful for users, but how can content creators integrate these? Organizations and content creators may worry that increasing accessibility will significantly increase time or costs. In many cases, you can make your content accessible without investing a great deal of time or money.

Closed Captioning

The YuJa Enterprise Video Platform provides integrated auto-captioning with a very high degree of accuracy. To improve upon these automatically generated captions, individuals can easily manually edit captions in the Video Editor, or by downloading and editing the.SRT file.  This is a quick process and one that can facilitate correct captioning of specific terminology. The integration of fee-based human captioning services is also available.

Keyboard Navigation

Keyboard controls are fully integrated into YuJa’s HTML5 Media Player. They are available to all users, along with graphics illustrating keyboard shortcuts. Users can control all of the features available in the Media Player with only their keyboards. 

Audio Descriptions

While both closed captioning and keyboard navigation can be hands-off for content creators, audio descriptions do require some amount of work. Depending upon the content, you may need a full-length audio description track; however, many videos will require only a brief audio description to fill in additional information. 

Content creators can also make sure that they describe what’s on-screen in their main audio track; this can eliminate the need for audio descriptions for individuals with vision-impairments. 

Previous article: Using Best Practices in Video Learning

Video Recording Best Practices

Video technology has dramatically changed how people learn, share information, and interact with one another. Today, media creation is not limited to traditional video producers. Anyone can create media content to share publicly or within an organization. This facilitates knowledge and information sharing at all levels.

Understanding best practices in video technology let content owners produce high-quality media content from the conference room, classroom, office, or their own living rooms. 

Video Recording Best Practices

Getting Ready

Today’s technology makes recording media simple; however, taking the time to prepare is essential for a high-quality product. There are several distinct factors to consider when preparing to record a meeting, talk, or presentation.


In most use cases, creating video content requires a computer, web camera, and a microphone. The quality of your video content will depend upon your monitor resolution, camera, and microphone quality.  Good quality options are available at all price points. Prior to starting a recording, check that all equipment is functioning properly. 


Media recordings can take place in nearly any space; from a conference room to a home office. For the best quality video, you should limit noise interference, choose a well-lit space, and keep your background simple and clean. If you do need to record in a larger, more populated space, choose a microphone designed to manage those situations, or opt for a mic mounted to your clothing or headset, rather than a multi-directional microphone on a table.


Taking the time to prepare a script for recording is a helpful way to improve the overall quality of your video content. Depending upon individual preferences, the script can be quite complete or simply well-organized notes.

The Recording Process

Modern video recording tools limit the work for users, whether you are using automated scheduling or on-demand recording. Prior to starting a recording, you should be in place, in front of the camera, and have content loaded on your screen. For the best-quality recording, all screen or supplemental content, like a SmartBoard, should be set up and ready before beginning to record.

Finishing the Recording

Once your recording is complete, you still have the ability to improve it. While experienced video producers may be able to record a smooth video from start-to-finish, for most people, a bit of post-production editing offers many advantages. Use video editing tools to remove unwanted content, add additional notes, and improve the quality of captioning. 

Previous Article: Online Presentations for Everyone

Building a Centralized Video Library

A centralized video library provides a number of distinct advantages, including storage, accessibility, and security. Many institutions and companies have invested heavily in video creation, but are not maximizing the benefits of this investment. Centralizing video content provides users, creators, and administrators with new tools and options.

Storing Video Content

As video content becomes increasingly important, institutions have more content to store. Storage space is often costly, requiring space, hardware, and IT staff. Cloud-based video storage offers key features for today’s video-rich online experience. 

  • Cloud-based storage can grow with you over time. There’s no need for continual investment in hardware. 
  • Support services are incorporated into cloud-based hosting; there’s no need to employ staff to care for and maintain your own hardware.
  • Consistent uptime provides your users with reliable access to your video content. 

Accessing Video Content

Creators and users need to be able to access and manage a video library. In order to access content, users have to be able to find content; it must be organized in a logical, intuitive framework.  

  • Structure is essential; users should know where to look for content. For educational institutions, this means Course Channels, Campus Channels and Public Channels. 
  • Searchable content is more useful to all types of users. When users can search for a keyword found in the audio or slide contents, they can find the videos they need with ease.
  • Individual User Collections facilitate the ability to upload content and share content within a centralized video library.

Securing Video Content

One of the most significant benefits of a centralized video library is the ability to chose to share video content or to secure video content. This can encourage video content creation, as well as increase the marketing potential available through video.

  • Publicly accessible video links and embed links facilitate video sharing on social media and other platforms.
  • Limited institutional or corporate access provides the ability to easily share content within a large group; like all students or employees.
  • Smaller group access enables limited access to a set group, like a class.
  • User collections provide individual and administrative access to content. 

Recording City Council Meetings with YuJa

Today, many cities opt to record City Council and other administrative meetings. This provides increases opportunities for community involvement, as well as a full record of everything discussed at the meeting.

In order for recordings to benefit the community, they must be:

  • Clear and watchable.
  • Accessible to the public.
  • Organized in a structured way.

In some cities, it may be desirable to live stream City Council meetings. Live streaming lets people tune in from anywhere, but can also facilitate the management of overflow situations, if the room is not large enough for everyone attending.

Recording Meetings

Meeting recordings should include video, audio, and access to any presentation media used by the Council or those presenting before the Council. This provides the viewer with the best possible record of what happened, and can help to provide vital information to the community.

  • Video can feed from one or more cameras. Cameras should be placed to film not only the Council, but speakers from the community, if present.
  • Wireless and USB microphones can provide good-quality audio for the City Council meeting recording.
  • If a PowerPoint or video is shown, it can be added directly to the meeting recording, as can the contents of a SmartBoard or computer screen.

Depending upon the budget, some cities may have hardware-based recording solutions, with mounted cameras and equipment. For others, a software-based capture solution will be a more practical choice.

Streaming and Sharing Media Content

For many towns and cities, making meeting recordings publicly accessible is essential; the recordings don’t just exist as a record, but as a tool for the community. It may also be helpful to be able to store, organize, and grant access to content that is not publicly available.

  • Share a link to publicly stream video content. This brings transparency to the proceedings, and is well-received by the community.
  • Opt for an accessible interface to display public meeting recordings. This should be clear and easy-to-use, without logging.
  • Make use of a secure system to store and organize archived content, or meetings not open to the public.
  • Choose a system with varying permission levels to enable departments and divisions in the city administration to use video and multimedia content to engage with one another and the public.

Creating a TED-style Conference Recording

TED talks, and conference recordings in the style of TED talks have become a near-industry standard.

What are the components of a TED-style conference recording?

  • Dual camera angles.
  • Use of visual presentation media.
  • Focus on a single speaker.
TED2012: Full Spectrum. February 27 - March 2, 2012. Long Beach, CA. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

TED2012: Full Spectrum. February 27 – March 2, 2012. Long Beach, CA. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

The end recording is crisp, focused, and visually appealing, but it doesn’t look like a standard slide deck or a television program. TED talks have a big budget for professional-quality production, but a TED-style conference recording can require little more than a laptop or podium computer.

Using YuJa to Create a TED-style Recording

YuJa’s practical lecture capture tools can do more than just capture classroom lectures–they also work well for conference recordings, capturing the TED talk experience for your conference. We’ll talk you through using the YuJa Software Station, but you can also use the YuJa Hardware Hub, or a combination of the two to create your conference recording.

What You’ll Need:

  • A laptop or podium computer with the YuJa Software Station installed for use.
  • Two Webcams
  • Microphone
  • Visual presentation media, as desired

Recording and Editing your TED-style Talk

To record a TED-style conference presentation, you can opt for either scheduled or on-demand recording, but should get your cameras set and ready to record. A wireless microphone lets the speaker move around the stage, and good lighting helps create the TED-talk atmosphere. When you’re ready to begin, start the Software Station recording, and give your presentation.

Once your recording is complete, YuJa’s suite of tools, including captioning, semantic topic analysis, optical character resolution and non-destructive video editing are available.

  • Captioning increases accessibility for all users and is key to YuJa’s smart semantic topic analysis. Semantic topic analysis quickly lets users see topics included in your talk.
  • Optical character recognition combines with captioning for increased searchability. Keywords aren’t just found in the text transcript of your talk, but also in the visual aids you used.
  • Non-destructive editing enables you to remove unwanted content, or to integrate additional video content into a created video. Your original YuJa video capture file remains fully intact. You can also edit captions using the YuJa Video Editor, or add a watermark to your video.

Sharing your TED-style Talk

YuJa offers a variety of ways to share your TED-style conference recordings.

  • Publish to your Public Channel for public access, or to your CampusTube channel for controlled access.
  • Download your video as an MP4 file to share.
  • Use a direct link or embed code to add your video to a website.

Creating a CampusTube Media Channel for Your School

Today, 92 percent of universities have a presence on YouTube, sharing video content with the world at large. Public access to video content is important, but most universities and corporations also have a large amount of multimedia content that isn’t relevant for a larger audience.

YuJa offers institutions the ability to create public channels, accessible to everyone, but also to effectively manage a CampusTube or Campus channel with access only to authenticated users. In addition, individual permissions can be set for the Campus channel, allowing all logged in individuals to access content, only instructors or only students.

campus channel

This is one of the many benefits of a smart, scalable media management solution. You can make video content accessible to who you choose, when you choose!

What You Need to Know

YuJa’s media management tools are simple to use, whether you’re an IT Manager or an instructor. Video files can be uploaded and shared in minutes, and can be quickly published to various channels, from course channels to public channels, to the CampusTube. Files are safe, secure, and accessible.

In the CampusTube library, each folder can have specific permissions based on role or user, or a combination of both. This means that, for instance, a department could grant all majors permission to see their video content, but not other students. In addition, it makes it simple to identify files available to just students, just instructors, or just IT managers or any combination of those three.

How to Use Your CampusTube

There are many different ways to use a CampusTube to incorporate information that you’d like to disseminate widely to instructors, staff and students, but not publicly.

  1. Faculty and staff training. Diversity training, instruction on new procedures or benefits, and information about upcoming administrative changes can easily be shared to staff and instructors via the Campus channel.
  2. Departmental information. Individual departments can produce videos for students to help them learn more about different majors and educational options available.
  3. Student services videos. Students need access to information about campus services and financial aid. Video learning is an ideal way to share this!
  4. Lecture captures. Sharing lecture captures with all students is an ideal way to provide students with new information about different majors or classes.
  5. Orientation materials. New students have to take in a great deal of information very quickly. Consider offering lecture captures or videos to reiterate orientation information for incoming freshmen.

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