Audio files always need transcripts or text equivalents.
Video files always need transcripts and/or captions of dialog.
Captions should be:
NCDAE has more information about Captions, Transcripts, and Audio Descriptions
There are differences in how these text descriptions are delivered:
These tools are mainly for video captions, but can be used for audio files as well:
There are many, many, many captioning services available. (Contact me if you have one you really like.)
Some of these sites will output the text as transcriptions.
Zoom, YouTube, Vimeo, Otter.ai, and many others offer live transcription for web-based presentations and meetings. Most of the time, the transcriptions are done by AI. They work well when the audio is clear, the voice "free" of accent, and the subject matter is widely known.
If you have garbled audio, nuanced dialog in different languages and accents, or cover specialized subjects (such as art and design), the AI-ouput can be les than helpful.
Audio Description (AD) is way to describe visual content to a visually-impaired audience.
In web videos, they are often embedded as separate audio tracks that can be toggled ON/OFF.
The Audio Description Project from the American Council of the Blind compiles lists of museums, performing arts venues, DVDs, TV channels, streaming services, and more that provide audio description.
Although AD is not necessarily required by law, please use it in your professional practice. Learn more with the Describing Visual Resources Toolkit
Daredevil is a television show about a blind lawyer who uses enhanced senses to navigate the world. Yet Netflix did not anticpiate that any of its viewers would be visually impaired.
Find out more about the fight for audio description for Daredevil.
Thomas Reid describes what happens when audio description is done badly in this podcast episode (text and audio). The AD track for Black Panther: