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Ear on gray backgroundPhoto by Franco Antonio Giovanella

Today we are dealing with the WCAG criterion – 1.2.7 – Extended Audio Description (Recording).

What is its purpose and who is it intended to help? Its primary purpose is to support individuals who cannot see what is happening on the screen and people with cognitive function disorders.

The main premise is to extend criterion 1.2.5 – audio description – in situations where breaks (between sounds/dialogues) are insufficient to describe everything happening on the screen.

Meeting this criterion involves pausing/”freezing” a portion of the visual content and adding an additional description (audio description) during this pause of what is happening on the screen. Let’s imagine an art workshop where a painter talks about the painting technique used, simultaneously showing an example of its use. The extended audio description should include a description of what is depicted in the painting – for example, shapes that emerged during the explanation of the technique used. Then the visual presentation resumes.

Another example could be a lecture scene where a professor explains a concept while simultaneously writing complex mathematical expressions in the background. These also would require extended audio description.

Extended audio description can be cumbersome for those who do not need it, so it is necessary to provide an option to disable it.

Link to a video with extended audio description (video in English) – vintage-style TV advertisement for Post GrapeNuts.

Link to a portion of a nature documentary with extended audio description (video in English) – [link provided]


Małgorzata Szymczak

Małgorzata Szymczak

Accessibility Specialist & Junior Frontend Developer