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Many media items such as podcasts and other audio files, videos, complex images like charts and infographics, and other embedded items are not fully accessible. Providing equivalent text alternatives can make media items more accessible. 

Such equivalent text alternatives are likely longer than what you would include in a title or alt attribute. For example, a podcast text alternative consists of transcripts, and complex image, a text alternative must include any visible text and perhaps a description. Here's a approach for providing longer text alternatives:

  1. Provide a short description (less than 150 characters) for the title or alt attribute
  2. Provide a longer description in the caption, or link to transcripts or a longer description from the caption. 
  3. Provide transcripts or a longer description either elsewhere on the page or on a separate page.

Use title or alt attribute

Rather than providing a detailed description of an image or other media in the alt text, provide a short description in the alternative text and limit it to 120 characters. For an image, you'll use the alt attribute. For iframes, you'll use the title attribute. 

Use captions 

Use the caption for image or media item to either describe how the item relates to your content or link to a longer description. Using captions gives all site visitors access to the same information.

Alt text explains information in images for screen reader users. Captions describe images to help users relate them to surrounding text. 

-- From the Australian Government Style Manual

Learn more about alt text versus captions

Use a longer description or transcripts 

If you have transcripts or a longer description use a caption with a link to that text.

To add a caption with a link, after adding your media item to the text editor: (See Add images to the media library.)

  1. Hover over the media item widget until you see a yellow outline.
  2. Click on the widget to bring up the menu.
  3. In the menu click on the caption icon. This will display the caption field below the media item.
  4. In the caption field add your alternative text and if needed, link to the longer description
  5. Save
where to add a caption to a media item
The caption toggle is the first item in the widget menu.

Example: embedded podcast with a link to transcripts

Here's an example of how to make transcripts available for a podcast. In this example the caption contains a link to the transcript, and the transcript is directly below on the page. You can also put the transcript on a different page and link to it there. 

Review these tips from the Office of Digital Accessibility on using captions and transcripts prior to posting media to your website.

oEmbed URL
Jump to the full transcript


Former TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot on Trusting Your Gut

As a founding member of SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund and the former CEO of TaskRabbit, Stacy Brown-Philpot, MBA ’02, is leading the charge on diversity and inclusion.

In this View From The Top conversation at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Brown-Philpot speaks with Jess Lawson, MBA ’21, discussing her childhood in Detroit and how she went from being “CFO of the paper route” to launching a $100 million fund focused on investing in Black, Latinx, and Native American founders. “Sometimes as humans, we ignore what’s in our gut because we’re getting advice and we’re thinking with our head,” she says. “And a lot of times we’ve got to put the head aside and sort of lead with the heart.”

Stanford GSB’s View From The Top is the Dean’s premier speaker series. It launched in 1978 and is supported in part by the F. Kirk Brennan Speaker Series Fund. During student-led interviews and before a live audience, leaders from around the world share insights on effective leadership, their personal core values, and lessons learned throughout their career.

Full Transcript: Stacy Brown-Philpot

Stacy Brown-Philpot: When everything’s fine, we’re all fine. But when everything’s not fine, do you come with a sense of integrity? Do you bring the best person that you are to the table? And that’s really what guides me. And what I hope guides the people who decide to work with me and for me.

Jessica Lawson: Welcome to View from the Top, the podcast. That was Stacy Brown-Philpot, founding member of SoftBank’s opportunity fund and former CEO of TaskRabbit. Stacy returned to her Alma Mater, Stanford graduate school of business, as part of View from the Top, a speaker series where students like me sit down to interview business leaders from around the world. I’m Jessica Lawson, an MBA student of the class of 2021. This year I had the pleasure of interviewing Stacy from her home in California. She shared invaluable insights on building community, driving impact and embracing change. You’re listening to View from the Top, the podcast.

Jessica Lawson: Stacy, thanks for being here. It’s great to have you back at the GSB virtually.

Stacy Brown-Philpot: Hi! It’s nice to see you and I am so glad to be back.

Jessica Lawson: It’s so good to see you. I mean, it sounds like you’ve really mastered Zoom. I know you have a full household with dogs and a kid but you’re getting through it and you’re surviving.......

Transcript Tips

  1. Transcripts should include speaker information or any other informational cues appropriate to understanding the recording.
  2. If the audio was scripted before production the script can be used as the transcript.

Embeddable Media

Stanford Sites supports the ability to add embeddable media such as social media feeds, documents, forms, and data visualizations.

Jump links using ID tags

Jump links can direct visitors to a specific part of a page, rather than the top of the page. This is good for footnotes and FAQs.

Accessibility Commitment

Stanford Web Services (SWS) is committed to providing a Stanford Sites environment that enables site owners to build and manage websites that are accessible to everyone and adhere to Stanford's online accessibility policy.