NOTE: The following information applies to audio, video and multimedia content posted on the EOHHS Portal located at www.mass.gov/eohhs. Web Services will continue to update this documentation as we learn more about best practices for publishing. Please check back each time you plan to create audio, video, and/or multimedia content for the Portal to learn the latest information. The EOHHS Intranet does not support video or multimedia at this time.
- Formats and Implementation Requirements
Contact HHS Web Service
Please contact HHS Web Services using the Website Feedback Form with questions BEFORE you decide to create an audio/visual file, hire vendors and begin development. We have found that it is often more difficult, expensive, and time consuming to add closed captioning to a multimedia file after it has already been developed. In addition, we can share with you our experience with file format requirements, high speed vs. low speed connectivity issues, and some of the pros and cons of audio/video files compared with standard web pages.
Audio only files must include a text transcript.
Multimedia files must be closed captioned and fully described. For example, in addition to the narration and dialogue, the closed captioning should include descriptions about what is going on in the video that can be heard but not seen like “telephone rings” or “knock at the door”.
In addition, interactive multimedia elements (for example, multiple choice quizzes, custom forward/back buttons, etc) must be accessible using a keyboard and not just the mouse.
View the Accessibility Policy
Vendors can help you with captioning with minimum effort as long as you plan in advance. If you want to learn more about how to add closed captions to web videos, please see WebAIM's Captioning Resources:
- WebAIM Captioning Overview
- Captioning Software
- Captioning Quicktime
- Captioning RealPlayer
- Captioning Windows Media
- Creating Accessible Flash Content
Embedded Video: YouTube
Mass.gov is configured to allow easy integration of embedded YouTube videos. The YouTube player is flash-based and unfortunately is not screen reader accessible. Therefore, in order to post YouTube videos on the Portal, agencies will need to upload the video to YouTube AND provide an alternate video version of the file. We have used MOV, MPEG and WMV for this purpose in the past. Agencies must include a link in the first line of the description on the YouTube version so that users can get back to the EOHHS Portal if they need an accessible version. The Portal version must be closed captioned.
Mass.gov supports downloadable multimedia files in WMV, MPEG, MOV. Flash and DVD formats are not supported.
Since many users are still on dial-up connections, agencies should consider creating both high-bandwidth and low-bandwidth versions of the files. Broadband files should not exceed 100MB. Dialup files should not exceed 10MB. Videos over 30 minutes should be divided into multiple files.
This information is provided by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services .