Is Interactive Video Created in Camtasia 508 Compliant?

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I absolutely love creating interactive videos in Camtasia. However, most of the work I've done over the past few years has involved governmental requirements around accessibility and section 508 compliance. At the time it was clear that this sort of video, produced in Camtasia, had no chance of meeting the standard. It's now been several years since I've checked in on Camtasia to see what progress they've made. Unfortunately, I'm not finding any relevant resources, articles, or discussions here on the techsmith site or forums.

I see that Camtasia has a VPAT, which is great. But that document seems more focused on accessibility from the perspective of the developer using Camtasia, rather than those interacting with the content once it's been produced (which is where these accessibility and compliance rules apply). Is anyone on the Techsmith side able to give any guidance on what does and doesn't work, and whether there is any roadmap to make interactive content (hotspots, quizzes, captions) fully accessible?

I would really, really love to start developing wth Camtasia again soon.

Thanks,
ephraim
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ephraim ross

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Posted 1 year ago

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kayakman, Champion

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you might want to pose this directly to free tech support; might be faster?
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ephraim ross

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Thanks, you might be right. Although I'm thinking this information would be of interest to lots of people doing work on government-related or academic work.
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Ben Rhodes, Employee

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Hello Ephraim,

TechSmith does not currently have a VPAT specifically for the TechSmith Smart Player that plays back Camtasia output.  However the TechSmith Smart Player is WCAG 2.0 Level A compliant.  The only thing it is missing to be Level AA is support for audio descriptions. The player is keyboard and screen reader accessible.

Hope this information helps,
Ben
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ephraim ross

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Hi Ben,

I'm not looking for a VPAT specifically. But I am hoping to verify that users would be able to respond to quizzes, click buttons,  and otherwise interact with hotspots without the use of a mouse. Is that correct?

Thanks,
ephraim
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Ben Rhodes, Employee

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Yes Ephraim that is correct.
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jen

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Thanks so much for this response, Ben! Question: Is this accessibility available with only Camtasia 2018, or is it true for even versions 8 and 9?

Jen Perkins
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Ben Rhodes, Employee

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Camtasia 8 and 9 do not have the latest, most accessible version of the Smart Player.  We currently do not ship updates to those versions of Camtasia to update the Smart Player version.  The version of Smart Player that ships with Camtasia 9 is accessible though, but we have addressed some issues since we stopped shipping updates.

We do have instructions on how to manually update Smart Player to the latest version though:
https://support.techsmith.com/hc/en-us/articles/360016247852-Camtasia-Windows-Update-the-Version-of-the-TechSmith-Smart-Player
https://support.techsmith.com/hc/en-us/articles/360016509591-Camtasia-Mac-Update-the-Version-of-the-TechSmith-Smart-Player

Ben
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jen

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Thank you for this information, Ben! I appreciate it.

JP
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ephraim ross

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That is fantastic! This might steer our teams training development work in a whole new direction.

Cheers!
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Max Ramming

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We want to use hot spots for a 508 compliant video. To clarify. . . the hot spots can be read with a screen reader using the Smart Player? Our tech person asked about adding Alt Text tags but is that really necessary if the screen reader picks up on the hot spots? Thank you for any clarification.
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Ben Rhodes, Employee

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Hi Max,

A screen reader will alert the user when a new hotspot is displayed over the video.  If more than 1 hotspot are displayed at the same time it will announce the number of hotspots that just appeared.  Then the user will have to tab through the player elements to get focus on a hotspot.  When the player is focused on a hotspot, it will read out that it is a hotspot and what action it will perform on keyboard activation.

For example if the hotspot opens a new web page it will read out what URL it will open.  Or if it jumps the player to a different time it will read out what time it will jump the player to.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks,
Ben
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Max Ramming

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Thank you so much Ben. Here is a follow up question from our tech person: is it possible to get the screen reader to read specific alt text? As of now when I tab through with a screen reader it just says “jump to 1:55” or something similar like “Open link https://...” when the hotspots are in focus. If we want to get it to pass the 508 it has to read a descriptive text like “skip to Learn More” for example.
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Max Ramming

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Could I use a Marker to add the extra descriptive text?

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Ben Rhodes, Employee

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Max,

Do you have any resources that explains why a hotspot should include “skip to Learn More”?  We don't have a way to add custom alt text right now.  But I'm interested changing what is read by the screen reader if there is a more compliant way of doing it.
Could I use a Marker to add the extra descriptive text?
No markers get converted to a Table of Contents item if you pick that option during production.

Ben
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Max Ramming

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Thank you. Follow up question: the multiple hots spots at once are used like a dvd menu. while the screen reader says what time code, we would like the person to hear "to learn more." Would a table of contents read out the multiple hot spots as in "learn more, get help, contact"? This is a highly 508 compliant situation.

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Ben Rhodes, Employee

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Max,

Just so I understand you correctly: When you setup a hotspot to jump to a marker, you'd like the marker label name read by the screen reader instead of the timecode?

Right now we don't list hotspots in the table of contents, but will display the markers.  When you tab to an item in the table of contents the label will be read out by the screen reader.

Ben
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Max Ramming

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Thank you! Yes to the first question. So we perhaps could use a table of contents on our "DVD menu" section which would allow the screen reader to read the marker titles. The audible table of contents would correspond to the hotspots. Hmmmm. . .
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Max Ramming

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We're still having problems with hotspots being 508 compliant due to the lack of descriptive text, or alt tags. I've rebuilt our menu sections in various ways and added a Table of Contents yet it fails to meet our in-house interpretation of 508 compliance. Is there any way at all to add alt text?
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Ben Rhodes, Employee

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Hi Max,

I just sent you an email to follow up about this off forum.

Ben