The last big accessibility update by Vimeo was in January 2014. In that update they created the ability to added captions and subtitles to videos. They are now refocusing their efforts on accessibility and have released new features that bring its media player to Level AA compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Level AAA is most accessible a site can be.
The new player now supports:
- Higher color contrast based on AA standards
- Clearer focus states that make keyboard navigation easier
- Better support for screen readers (e.g. JAWS, NVDA)
Accessibility has typically been an afterthought for websites. Most of the sites that do have accessible features only have them because they were a byproduct of SEO. However, there appears to be a shift towards making the web truly accessible for everyone.
accessibility creates a sense of belonging by being inclusive.
This means giving all individuals the opportunity to participate, in every aspect, to the fullest extent possible. Accessibility is not limited to varying abilities; everyone can benefit when something is accessible. For example, lots of people whose hearing is not impaired use subtitles. It’s a win across the board.
While Vimeo would like to achieve Level AAA compliance, eventually, it may take a long time because the criteria are difficult and costly. For example, one of the criteria is to provide sign language interpretation for all prerecorded audio content in synchronized media. Perhaps that will be made possible one day through services like SignAll.