Image of movie projector

Creating Videos with Visual Impairments

Interested in becoming a blind vlogger? Here's how!

Students are creating videos to use in multimedia presentations in early elementary school. While tech standards vary across the country, by 4th or 5th grade, students should be able to create, edit and embed videos into their multimedia presentations. Generally, students are creating simple videos (with limited editing) for educational purposes long before 4th grade. Not to mention all the student-created selfies and videos outside of the classroom!

Creating Videos with Visual Impairments

Is it possible for a student who is visually impaired to create a quality video? Absolutely! There are numerous vloggers (video bloggers) who are visually impaired or blind. The popular Blind Life YouTube channel has wonderful post where Sam, who is a visually impaired vlogger, shares tips on how he creates quality videos.


In the next video, Sam describes the equipment and software that he uses when creating his YouTube videos.




Creating Accessible Videos

The student with visual impairments needs to learn how to successfully create videos independently; the sighted student (and teacher!) should also learn how to create videos that are accessible for classmates who are visually impaired.

The most common way to create accessible videos is to have the person in the video describe in detail what is seen in the video and what is happening in the video. Examples: The person may describe a person’s expression and the dance moves the person is doing. A quick description of the person (clothes, characteristics, age, etc. may also be beneficial); keep in mind that there is a fine line of describing what is important and describing too many details. If the video is about fashion, then it is more important to describe in detail than if the video is a tutorial on how to use a screen reader. It is critical to use the correct terminology, especially if the video is educational. If the video is a tutorial on how to create a PowerPoint Presentation, it is critical that the person describe each command and what happens on the screen after implementing that command. Typical standards for alt text descriptions and image descriptions apply to video descriptions.

The second way to create accessible videos is to add audio descriptions after the video has been created. This is done using editing software. The video clip is stopped in strategic places and an auditory descriptions are inserted. Audio descriptions are used to add additional information after the video has been created and is a good option when details need to be included. Having a different voice narrating the audio descriptions helps clarify what is an auditory description and what is a character talking. There are professional groups that can be paid to add audio descriptions or you can add your own. Most video editing software has features that enable users to add audio descriptions. YouDescribe is a free website that enables users to quickly add audio descriptions to YouTube videos. YouDescribe videos can be shared with other users as well. Teachers and students can check YouDescribe to see if a popular YouTube video has already been described.

The Fast Facts about Audio Descriptions post provides more information about Audio Descriptions. 

Resources for Creating Audio Descriptions

How to Find and Use Audio Described Videos and Movies

Student Contest

Consider having your student enter the BADIE contest by audio describing a video from their list of educational videos. Learn more about this annual contest here: BADIE Contest: Benefits of Audio Description in Education.

Creating Videos with Visual Impairments Pinterest tag.

By Diane Brauner

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