Provide ASL interpretation of video

A speaker on TV with an ASL interpreter
Image description: A cartoon character speaking on TV behind a podium with a smaller ASL interpreter screen on the lower righthand corner. The podium speaker says, “K!” And the interpreter makes the ASL sign for the letter K.

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Why This is Important

ASL interpretation is accessible to Deaf and Hard of hearing people who understand ASL.

Because ASL can provide emotion and intonation, it often creates a richer experience than text captions alone.

However, it's worth noting that there are various dialects of ASL, that ASL education is not widely available, and not all Deaf/HoH people are fluent in it. The nuances of Deaf culture should be taken into account when implementing this.

This references WCAG criterion 1.2.6 Sign Language (Prerecorded) (Level AAA)

How to Implement This

Adding ASL interpretation to a video usually involves embedding a second video stream, either a split screen or (more typically) a smaller video overlay in the corner.

ASL video production

There are various services that offer adding ASL interpretation to videos. Here are some examples:

Since this is a visual language, it's important that the video quality is clear and background is not distracting. Here are tips for recording and live streaming video with ASL:

This guide explains how to overlay video using HTML5: Adding Sign Language to HTML5 video

Hire ASL interpreters

ASL interpretation is a highly involved skill that requires proper compensation (make sure to pay your interpreters and give them the resources and rest they need!) Here are a few directories where you can find and hire interpreters.

Some ASL interpreter FAQ's and things to keep in mind:

Note: Small businesses can get tax credits for the expense of an interpreter. A small business is one with 30 or fewer employees OR with $1 million or less in gross receipts for the preceding tax year.

Interesting further reading

Black ASL

Content about Deaf experiences

How to Test This

Check any video content for ASL interpretation. Consult an ASL expert who is fluent in the specific dialect for accuracy.


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