Video Player testing – ICCHP July 2018



OzPlayer PassedAblePlayer PassedPlyr Failed mobile keyboard testingJW Player Failed mobile keyboard testingKaltura Failed mobile testingMediaSite Failed mobile testingYouTube embed Failed mobile testingPanopto Failed screen-reader testingAcorn Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2Adobe Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2AFB Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2Amazon Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2AMI Player Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2Brightcove Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2Facebook Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2MediaElement Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2Ooyala Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2PayPal Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2RAMP Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2Video.js Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2Vidyard Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2Vimeo Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2Viostream Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2Wistia Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2Yahoo Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2YouTube Failed a non-interference clause in WCAG2
Mobile kb100%100%0%0%

Why is video important?

Video is now ubiquitous. One third of all online activity is watching video , over two-thirds of all internet traffic is video and over half of all video content is accessed via a mobile device . Over 500 million people watch video on Facebook every day – that’s over 100 million hours of video ! On YouTube, the numbers are even higher – over 1 billion hours of video are watched every day .

Video and accessibility

Web accessibility is about making sure web sites, web applications and mobile apps (including video) are accessible to people with disabilities. The estimate of people with disabilities in the US is approximately 19% of the population – that’s 56.7 million people .Web accessibility of web sites is best achieved by following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Version 2.0 created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The W3C states that “following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity and combinations of these.” The W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, Version 2.0, contain specific techniques for providing accessibility features within video.Almost everyone understands the need for accessibility features like transcripts, captions and audio descriptions for people with disabilities: these features also are important to people without a disability when viewing video. Over 85% of all Facebook video is viewed without sound – and, if a video has captions, a user is almost twice as likely to finish the video than if it did not have captions . We all know Google is blind and deaf and we see that in revenue as well – videos with transcripts earn 16% more revenue than videos without transcripts . And what has been dubbed the “Broadchurch effect” (due to the strong accents in the BBC drama “Broadchurch”), the BBC found that 80% of people who use captions are not using it for accessibility reasons .To provide accessible video solutions, web site owners must provide a variety of accessibility features. One of the requirements is that the video player itself must be accessible. Lack of accessibility in video players can be the consequence of a number of things, but usually includes inadequate keyboard access, inoperable captions and non-existence of audio descriptions and transcripts.

Testing video player accessibility

We tested the following video players (listed alphabetically):
  1. AblePlayer;
  2. Acorn;
  3. Adobe;
  4. AFB;
  5. Amazon;
  6. AMI Player;
  7. Brightcove;
  8. Facebook;
  9. JW Player;
  10. Kaltura;
  11. MediaElement;
  12. MediaSite;
  13. Ooyala;
  14. OzPlayer;
  15. Panopto;
  16. PayPal;
  17. Plyr;
  18. RAMP;
  19. Video.js;
  20. Vidyard;
  21. Vimeo;
  22. Viostream;
  23. Wistia;
  24. Yahoo;
  25. YouTube; and
  26. YouTube embed.
We conducted four rounds of testing: We identified certain “show-stoppers” that were failures of the four non-interference clauses in WCAG2: If technologies are used in a way that is not accessibility supported, or if they are used in a non-conforming way, then they do not block the ability of users to access the rest of the page.>/p>


This is the third year that this testing has been conducted. As in previous years, AblePlayer and OzPlayer were the only two video players that do not contain show-stoppers. Although we have seen improvements – such as more video players supporting audio descriptions – we have also seen the advent of new show-stoppers such as reverse keyboard traps. For every show-stopper encountered there will be thousands – perhaps hundreds of thousands – of people who cannot watch the video. As one of our screen reader testers said:“Video is a very important source of information and is a remarkable aspect of our culture now. Blind individuals must not be excluded from access to data provided in video content. You can’t see, but you can understand.”