Accessibility in YouTube

The YouTube video player offers a variety of accessibility features including closed captions, keyboard control, and an interactive transcript feature. See the text below for more information.

Closed Captions


Turning On Closed Captions

All PolyLearn video tutorials include closed captions that wil appear near the bottom of the video window. If captions do not appear by default when you view a PolyLearn video, click on the CC button in the bottom right corner of the video window's bottom playback bar to turn captions on.

To turn closed captions on:

  1. Click on the CC button in the bottom right corner of the video window's bottom playback bar.
    screen image of the YouTube video window with the cc button highlighted
  2. The captions will appear near the bottom of the video window and the CC button will appear red when captions have successfully been turned on.
    screen image of the YouTube video window with captions turned on

Modifying Closed Captions' Formatting

You can change the look of the captions including size, font, and background color (black or clear/none) in the YouTube video player. These formatting actions also have keyboard shortcuts (see below).

Note: If you find that you've turned closed captions on (i.e., the CC button is red), but you can't see them, the background color may be set to clear/none. Press the "B" key on your keyboard or follow the instructions below to toggle the captions' background color back to black.

To modify the closed captions' formatting:

  1. With closed captions turned on (i.e., the CC button is red), rollover the CC button with your mouse cursor to open the Caption Actions/Selection menu.
    screen image of the CC menu
  2. Select Other Settings... from the Caption Actions menu.
    screen image of the CC menu with other settings highlighted
  3. In the Other Settings... click on the Font pull-down menu to select a different font, click on the Background button to toggle the captions' background color, or click on the +/- buttons to change the size of the captions' text.
    screen image of the captions settings window in the YouTube video player
  4. Click the Done button to save your changes.
  5. You can also control captions with various keyboard shortcuts:
    • Increase text size: press "+" key
    • Decrease text size: press "-" key
    • Change background: press "B" key

Interactive Transcript


Viewing the Interactive Transcript

The interactive transcript feature is only available while viewing the PolyLearn video tutorial on the YouTube web page. As you watch the video, the transcript will scroll to always show you the current closed captioned text. You can also click any point in the transcript to jump to that part of the video.

To view the interactive transcript:

  1. While viewing the PolyLearn video tutorial on the YouTube web page, click on the Interactive Transcript button below the video player. (Note: If you are not in YouTube, but watching the embedded video within the PolyLearn web site instead, you can move to watching the video on YouTube by clicking on the YouTube button in the bottom right corner of the video window's bottom playback bar. When you hover over the YouTube button, it will say, "Watch in YouTube.")

    screen image of the interactive transcript button below the video player
  2. Click on the pull-down menu that appears and select English - Interactive Transcript.
    screen image of the interactive transcript menu
  3. The interactive transcript appears. If the video is allowed to play, the transcript will scroll and highlight the current text. You can also click on a line of text within the transcript while the video is playing to jump to that location in the video.
    screen image of the actual interactive transcript

Keyboard Shortcuts


Controlling the YouTube Player with Tab/Enter Keys

The YouTube player can be controlled using only the keyboard. This is primarily accomplished through use of the Tab and Enter keys on your keyboard.

To select a section of the player with the Tab key:

  1. Click anywhere inside the video player.
  2. Press the Tab key to jump to each section of the YouTube video player. The Tab key allows the user to jump from section to section in the following order:
    • Play / pause button
    • Seek bar
    • Volume
    • Resolution
    • Pop-up video
    • Expand
      screen image of the different section highlighted
  3. Once a section of the player is highlighted, you can use the Enter or Escape keys to activate or disable, respectively, that section.
    For example:
    • Tab to “Expand” section, click Enter to toggle expanded view (not to be confused with full-screen mode) and press Esc to shrink the player.
    • Tab to “play” a section and use Enter to play or pause the video, etc.
    • “Volume" section is controlled with up / down arrow keys.
    • “Seek bar" section uses a variety of keys (see below).

Using the YouTube Seek Bar Keyboard Shortcuts

The list below describes what keyboard actions will control the YouTube player.

Note: The seek bar must be highlighted in order for these actions to work correctly.

  • Left / Right arrow — Jump back / jump ahead 5 seconds in the current video
  • Home / End — Seek to the beginning / last seconds of the video
  • Spacebar — Play / Pause
  • Numbers 1 to 9 — Seek to the 10% to 90% of the video
  • Number 0 — Seek to the beginning of the video