Making Your HubSpot Website WCAG 2.1 Compliant

1.2.4 Captions (Live)

MCS Accessibility Team

MCS Accessibility Team
Last Updated July 23, 2020

The following directions are part of a full step-by-step guide to making a HubSpot website WCAG 2.1 AA compliant. These recommendations are intended for websites managed on the HubSpot CMS but can be adapted for other content management systems.

Principle: Perceivable
Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
Guideline: Time-based Media
Provide alternatives for time-based media.

Captions are provided for all live audio content in synchronized media.

View Official WCAG 2.1 Compliance Techniques

Understanding 1.2.4 Captions (Live)

"Enable people who are deaf or hard of hearing to experience real-time presentations. Captions provide the part of the content available via the audio track."

This criteria applies specifically to websites that include live media. If your site doesn't include media, you'll resolve this criteria and be compliant by default. No manual intervention will be required, and you can stop reading right here!

This criteria applies to live broadcasts—webinars, video livestreams, etc. The purpose is to ensure that all listeners, especially people who are deaf or hard of hearing, are able to access information in real time when watching or listening to live media. 

To do so, you must provide synchronized, real-time captions of all audio content—not only the dialogue, but also non-dialogue information necessary to understand the content, such as sound effects, music, speaker identification, changes in environment, etc. These captions must be provided immediately, with no more than a broadcast delay.

You can provide your synchronized captions to the user in a few different ways:

  • Within the media player itself, if your player supports this
  • In a viewport on your website, so that a user may view the captions in one browser window and your audio content in another window. (For an even better user experience, you can launch both viewports within a single web page.)

Accuracy and speed is paramount. Imagine yourself as the end user: Do the captions convey the same information you'd receive if listening to the audio? Does it make sense and line up with the audio without significant delay?

How HubSpot Helps

Just like any place of public accommodation is required to provide sign language services for the hearing impaired, any live-streamed event is required to deliver synchronized captions, either closed or open (always visible). Because these do not typically follow a script to the word, they need to be composed and delivered in real time. There is nothing HubSpot can do to resolve this criteria, and third-party services are required.

Recommended Solutions

The ideal solution is to provide captions from right within your media player, enabling users to easily toggle them on or off without having to access another web page. As of this writing, however, there simply aren't any media players that do this. (For example, GoToMeeting—a popular platform for webinars—does not support any integrations with third-party captioning services, and does not include live captioning support.)

To be compliant, you need two things:

  • Captions
  • A platform to provide the captions (If your media player supports this, great! You're all set.)

For more information, please visit the official W3C article: Understanding 1.2.4 Captions (Live)

Download the WCAG 2.1 Compliance Checklist

Checklist Download


Let us know if we can help you address this specific WCAG Recommendation.