The LCBO is committed to providing an accessible and inclusive experience for customers, staff and business partners when accessing LCBO services, information or facilities.   This includes accessibility of media content; providing equivalent alternatives so that people can with disabilities can experience the content in an inclusive and equitable fashion.

The document provides requirements for LCBO video content, including but not restricted to providing audio alternative for video, transcript for audio, and captions for video with audio, as well as specifying to what extent such equivalents should be given to ensure accessible video content.

This supports the LCBO’s commitment to accessibility, as legislated under the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, last amended in 2016 (AODA), requirements of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) under the AODA, and additional organizational requirements.  This standard also supports provisions under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Summary of Legislative Requirements

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines have a part covering media content:

To summarize, these guidelines require the following for accessibility compliance.

  • - A descriptive text transcript is provided for audio-only content.
  • - A text or audio description alternative is provided for video-only content.
  • - Synchronized captions are provided for non-live video.
    • - Automatically generated captions are not sufficient.



  • - Provide concise, meaningful and descriptive title for the video.
  • - Where it matters, the video should provide date and time information.


  • - If video content has parts or chapters, provide concise, meaningful and descriptive titles.


  • - Unless required by design, the overall narrative in the video should be linear, logical, and meaningful.
  • - Follow chronological order, avoid flashbacks, multiple storylines, etc.


  • - Pause to describe relationships and dependencies


  • - If video content refers to external sources provide them at the end of the video and in the transcript.


On-screen Text


  • - Please follow the LCBO’s Captioning Best Practices
  • - Captions for the video should include announcement of the displayed text also connecting it with the surrounding context, when it matters.


  • - Enough time should be given to users for reading and understanding of the text. This is especially crucial when the video cannot be paused by the users.

Media alternative

  • - Transcript for the video should include texts, displayed in the video, also connecting it with the surrounding context, when it matters.
  • - Audio description should be provided, where possible. Please follow the LCBO’s Audio Description Best Practices (found below)


On-screen Objects

Pictures, formulas, charts

  • - Pictures, formulas, charts, and other visual objects conveying the information need an adequate audio description and transcript. That is, except of the background and decoration objects that have no meaning in the context of the video.
  • - If there's a possibility to provide a more accessible representation or less complex representation, it should be considered instead.


  • - Audio description and transcript should describe table structure, including header (column names) and sub-headers, number of rows and columns, and what is the main information conveyed by the table.
  • - When a data cell value is mentioned, also mention row number and column name.


  • - For lists displayed in a video, describe the purpose, number of elements, and whether the list is ordered.
  • - If order matters, mention order while announcing the list items.



Non-verbal communication

  • - Any information conveyed by non-verbal visual means, such as contrast, colour, format, etc. or by their combinations, should have audio description in plain text.
  • - Any instructions should not rely solely on visual characteristics of components such as shape, size, position, etc. or instructions should provide audio description in plain text.
  • - Any information conveyed by non-verbal visual means, such as gestures, facial expressions, body language should have audio description in plain text, describing the information conveyed.

Verbal communication

  • - Describe and translate words and phrases that were given in foreign languages.
  • - Do not use ambiguous expressions like "touch this", "go there", "take care of".
    • - Describe the operation directly, without equivocation.
    • - Describe the objects used in the interaction.


Risks of health impact


  • - Flashing or flickering video should be avoided, or users should be given an explicit warning beforehand.


  • - Video with sudden fast motions, spinning, etc. is known to cause vertigo and lasting headaches. Avoid such presentation if possible or provide users with an explicit warning beforehand

Hallucinations and hypnotizing effects

  • - Visual effects that cause hallucinations and hypnotizing effects should be avoided, or users should be given an explicit warning beforehand.

Captioning Best Practices

  • - Captions convey both speech and non-speech audio
  • - Speech is the spoken dialogue – what is being said
  • - Non-speech is sound effects, music, laughter, speaker identification, speaker location, etc.

Captions are written in a simple text file (VTT or SRT format).

  • - Avoid burned in text
  • - Provides alternative for Deafblind if there is no transcript
  • - Allows video player to support user preferences (fonts, colours, etc.)
  • - No transcript? Use YouTube’s automatic captions as a starter. Edit for accuracy!

Synchronize captions as much as possible.

Words appear as they start to be spoken

  • - Start time = Moment the caption needs to appear
  • - Stop time = Moment the caption needs to disappear (for the next caption)
  • - YouTube can also provide estimated Start / Stop times. Review & edit for accuracy!

Caption Placements

  • - Avoid covering / obstructing important video content e.g., faces, screen text, etc.
  • - Place captions according to who is speaking to help identify speaker
    • - Left, right and center justification can be used for this
    • - Remember that the reader’s eyes need to find and traverse the text

Keep Captions easy to quickly read

  • - Use the same general area of the screen, if you can.
  • - Use single sentences or two short sentences.
  • - Break them up at natural points (e.g., punctuation, clauses).
  • - Check for spelling errors and homonym errors.

Captioning Sound effects

  • - Assume your audience cannot hear your audio!
  • - Use onomatopoeia or well understood descriptive text that does not rely on hearing experience
  • - Only caption Informative sounds. Important sounds to understanding the content.
  • - Consider for description:
    • - Sound effects, music, actor’s emotions and tone of voice (e.g., [whispering])
    • - Where sound is from? Why is it present? One-off or Sustained sound? Meaningful silence?
    • - The presence of music ( ♪ ). Express its purpose. Describe emotion, performer, title, etc.
  • - Only the most important information is described. There’s not enough time for everything.

Use YouTube information block to optionally provide

  • - Transcript of video content including speech and sounds effects (or a link to it)
  • - Link to video on your website with accessible video player, captions, transcripts


Audio Description (AD) Best Practices

  • - Narration added to the soundtrack to describe important visual details that cannot be understood from the main soundtrack alone
  • - Describes actions, characters, scene changes, on-screen text, and other visual content
  • - Uses existing (or added) pauses in dialogue
  • - Uses a Describer voice that can be plain in tone or add delight to the auditory experience.
  • - Integrated AD: The Best way to provide AD

Content for AD audiences is included from the start, rather than written and recorded after the fact.

  • - Identification of key visual elements is incorporated into the pre-production, production, and post-production phases, so that traditional AD is not required.
  • - AD is part of the script. Any important visual information is captured in dialogue
    • e.g., a verbal introduction can be used along with screen text naming the person:
      “Hi, I’m John Doe with Lorem Ipsum Inc.”

Describe the most important information

  • - Describe. Don’t explain, editorialize, or interpret. AD is not a running commentary.
  • - Use Plain Language.
  • - Describe the important parts of visual scene that is not conveyed by dialogue or sound and is essential to understanding the scene.
  • - Read any important text that appears on screen verbatim
    • e.g., “Words appear: Add a lemon twist.”

Less is More

  • - Too much description detracts from the experience.
    • - Describing everything is impossible.
  • - Don’t fill every available pause between dialogue
  • - Don’t record over important non-speech content
    • e.g., sound effects, key parts of mood music

Use YouTube information block to provide additional information.

  • - Onscreen text information (links, phone numbers, twitter handles, etc.)
  • - Summary of instructions in video (e.g., drink recipe)
  • - Link to video on your website with accessible player, AD, captions, transcript, etc.