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Vimeo Announces Accessibility Updates to Their Video Player

Nov 5, 2019

In September, Vimeo announced new accessibility updates to their video player. The company states that the new updates brings their video player up to WCAG AA compliance standards.

The video-sharing platform started back in 2004 and currently serves more than 90 million creators worldwide. With the recent updates, more people should be able to use the service.

Here are the changes and how they impact accessibility.

Higher color contrast

Vimeo’s video player will now have a default color contrast ratio that meets minimum WCAG AA standards.

By using sufficiently-contrasting colors, the player’s text and controls can be seen by more people.

Why is this important?

This is helpful for most people and especially important for visitors with low vision, low contrast vision, or color blindness. When text and control elements don't stand out enough, they can blend into the background, making it much harder, if not impossible, for some people to perceive.

Ensuring that there’s a enough contrast between foreground and background is vital for accessibility and happier visitors.

Recommended: The Basics and Importance of Color Contrast for Web Accessibility

Clearer focus states

The updated video player will now be easier to use with a keyboard.

They have made it more obvious where the user is active on the control screen. This is done by showing a high-contrast blue or white box around the control that's currently receiving focus.

Why is this important?

Providing a visible indicator to show where you are while using the keyboard allows keyboard users to confidently keep their place and know what element they'll control if they make a selection.

Many individuals can't or don't use a mouse, and the reasons vary widely — the important thing isn't why, but to ensure that they can navigate your website without any hitches.

Recommended: Give Yourself an Accessibility Test: Don't Use a Mouse

Better support for screen readers

Vimeo says they ensure that all video player elements can be read properly by screen readers, like JAWS and NVDA.

This means that people who are blind, have low vision, or otherwise choose to use assistive technology like screen readers and refreshable Braille displays can access the video player and understand what each control means.

Why is this important?

Screen readers and Braille displays convert the digital content into into synthesized speech or refreshable Braille. These technologies rely on text and accessible labels to understand and communicate elements like video controls, allowing their users to independently navigate and operate content.

Recommended: Assistive Technology 101: What You Need to Know

Here to help with your accessibility initiatives

These recent updates are part of Vimeo’s continuing efforts to expand accessibility features to all of their products. We are happy to see the company working to create a more accessible and inclusive internet experience.

To get an idea of how accessible your website is, get started with a free website accessibility scan. Or, if you're ready to create a customized accessibility compliance strategy for your organization, contact us.

Use our free Website Accessibility Checker to scan your site for ADA and WCAG compliance.

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