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Lexicon for Accessible Content

Developed by the Accessible Content Community of Practice, this Lexicon for Accessible Content provides a common language for everyone to use at Boise State when discussing content related to accessibility. Use the search field to filter the table content.
TermDefinitionExamples in Context
Alternative TextA written replacement for an image, audio, video, or media file for users unable to “see” the content.Alternative text appears within the code as follows, in this case the image is also described:

img width="1350" height="228" src="" alt="Albertsons Library in Spring"
AnimationsImages or textual content that includes movement such as GIFs or web animations. Often not controlled by the user.Demonstrates a movement or task.
i.e. finger pushing a button showing a person where to touch an object.
Audio ControlUsers can control when audio, video, or media starts, pauses, or stops. They can also control volume and other functions.Disable any automatic play features in animations, audio, video, or media published for users.
Audio description (standard)An additional audio track that describes what is occurring in a video during existing pauses in dialog. It is intended for blind and visually impaired consumers of visual media so they may understand what is occurring in a video without seeing it.The most commonly used form of audio description on videos or television shows. The description occurs during the natural breaks in dialogue.
Audio description (extended)An additional audio track that pauses the video to describe what is occurring when natural pauses in the video do not allow for standard audio description.May be used during a lecture to describe an image the speaker is referring to. The video is paused to allow for a more detailed description of the visual material then resumes.
CaptionsTime coded transcript of the dialogue that includes a textual representation of the background noises, sound effects, and speaker identification. May appear at the bottom, top, or side of the screen.Captions can often be displayed as transparent or opaque gray/black box overlays on the video with white text, as black boxes below the video with yellow or white text or as white text overlaid directly on the video.
Captions (live or real-time)Captions created and displayed in real time as a presenter speaks.Live online meetings, live presentations or events, live classroom instruction, live social media events.
Captions (closed)Captions that can be turned on or off by the viewer.The preferred form of captions. The video and the captions are separate files that are imported into the media player.
Captions (open)Captions that always present and can not be turned off.The captions are embedded into the video to create a single file. This may be used when the media player does not allow a caption file.
CC onTurns on the subtitle or caption track on a video.A control that allows the caption file to be displayed on the screen.
CC offTurns off a subtitle or caption track on a video.A control that hides the caption file from being displayed on the screen.
ContrastThe visual presentation of 1) essential graphical objects for user interface component(s) or a border line thereof, and 2) the focus and selection indicator(s) of user interface component(s), has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 against the immediate surrounding color(s).Dark backgrounds use a light text or foreground colors with 4:5:1 contrast. Light backgrounds use a dark text or foreground colors with 4:5:1 contrast.
DCMPThe Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) is a non-profit that has educational materials and resources for students who are blind, deaf, visually impaired, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.Provides guidance for creating high quality captions.
Flashing ContentNo content flashes more than three times per second.Flashing content can cause seizures in some individuals and can be distracting for others.
Images (advanced)Includes images such as form buttons, image maps, image slices, background images, logos, and other complex images. May require additional usability testing with screen readers to determine appropriate alternative text.Describes the meaning of an image.

i.e. The Boise State “B” would be described as a “forward facing B.”
Images (decorative)Decorative images do not present important content, are used for layout or non-informative purposes, and do not appear within a link. Required null alternative text (alt=””).Does not convey a meaning, only describes a decorative element. This should be a silent tag because it can be distracting to a person using a screen reader.

i.e. A border may be described a as white dashed line.
Images (functional)Images that provide content, and serve important functions, such as navigation or hyperlinks to other content. Requires succinct, concise, alternative text (alt=”text”).An icon that allow a user to complete an action.
i.e. Clicking on an envelope icon to email a person or a printer icon to print a page.
Keyboard TrapSituation where keyboard only users can get “stuck” on an element with your content. Once “trapped” the user must exit the page and restart. All audio, video, and media content controls should be operated with a keyboard alternative and should not “trap” users.
Media AlternativeA secondary alternative to an audio, video, or media file. Can include audio description, captions, or transcripts.Creates accessibility by either merging the files together or by providing a separate file that user can click on the access the content.

This may be used when a media player does not have the ability to import a caption or description file or when copyright restrictions prevent content from being edited.
Media-based contentContent that is shared using audio and/or visual media (images, video); it is used as an alternative to text-based content.Files can include: JPEG, MP3, MP4.
Non-text contentAny content that is provided in a non-text format and includes audio, images, media, and video. An image such as an infographic, PDF graphic flyer, or audio-only video.
Sensory CharacteristicsUsers can interact with content using more than one sense.Written or audio instructions may appear as follows:

To submit your entry, select the orange button labeled “submit” on the bottom right of the screen. Or a captcha.
SRT fileA file that contains subtitle information, including the sequential number of subtitles, their start and end timecodes, and the subtitle text.The SRT file includes time stamps and text in chronological order as depicted here:

0:00:00,000 --> 0:00:20,000
Boise State University is located in Boise, Idaho.
Streaming MediaVideo that is accessed via the internet as opposed to a download, using players such as YouTube or Vimeo.A live link to an online video.
SubtitlesTime coded transcript or translation of the dialogue displayed at the bottom of a video, movie, or television screen.Includes spoken dialogue only and omits speaker identification and sounds effects.

Subtitles may appear in the same or different language than the dialogue on the screen.
Time-based MediaMedia that can only be experienced through time such as video and audio.Video, slide show, or recorded audio.
Transcript A text equivalent of all the words spoken in an audio or video recording. Required for audio/video/media files without captions.Transcripts identify speaker and content and may look like:

>> NARRATOR: Boise State University is located in Boise, Idaho.

VideoA recording of moving visual images, often accompanied with audio. DVD, YouTube, Motion Picture, tutorial, webinar, or Vlog.
VPAT “Voluntary Product Accessibility Template”Document used to assess products and services with features that support accessibility.This term is used during the procurement process to assess a vendors software, hardware, and/or content accessibility.
WCAG 2.0 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0This term refers to the set of guidelines and standards required for accessible web content at Boise State.

Lexicon References

  1. Described and Captioned Media Program
  2. Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM)
  3. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview
  4. WUHCAG – Web Accessibility for Developers