Accessible YouTube Sites

There are two web accessible versions of the popular YouTube video web site, that I’m aware of at least. (If you know others, please comment.) They are “Easy YouTube” and “Accessible Interface to YouTube”.

One big issue is that captioning doesn’t appear to be supported on either site. I’ve never worked with the YouTube API (yet), but I’m assuming there are technical blockers here. (Please comment if you know more!) Flash and JavaScript are required for both sites.

Both sites have excellent markup and implement great accessibility improvements. But as with any site, more enhancements can be made. Here’s a quick review each.

Easy YouTube

JavaScript expert Chris Heilmann developed this site in 2008. You can search for a video or enter the URL of a specific YouTube video. You can also choose from three video sizes. Excellent documentation and help is provided.

Suggestions:

  • Missing H1 tag.
  • Add highly visible hover/focus states on elements.
  • Add captioning support, if possible.
  • Implement ARIA.
  • Add video comments content.

Accessible Interface to YouTube

This is a more recent accessible YouTube interface. The author is unknown. (I’d like to know who you are as it’s very well done!) The interface is very simple yet informative; it display video details and comments. ARIA is implemented, but I have not fully tested it. There’s also a survey you may take to help further development.

Suggestions:

  • Add highly visible hover/focus states on elements.
  • Add captioning support, if possible.
  • Add controls for volume adjustment.

4 comments

  1. Michael Barthofer

    The creator of the “accessible interface to youtube” seems to be Thomas Jolliffe, a final-year Computer Science student at Newcastle University who did this for his dissertation. he published a call for evaluation for the “accessible interface to youtube” on the webaim.org-mailinglist in april 2009.

  2. Jules Ernst

    About captioning not working I know there is this crossdomain-issue. The flashplayer on one website can only read the caption-file on the other website if the domainname of the one website is in a file called crossdomain.xml on the other website.

    Info can be found here:
    JWPlayer Crossdomain Security

    I used this trick with a same kind of flashplayer and it worked.

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