How to find accessible media and web browsers

Finding captioned video

Searching for captioned videos on iTunes

The iTunes store has a small but growing number of close captioned movies and TV shows that you can rent or buy. You can also search for closed captioned educational video content through iTunes U. You can watch these videos on your computer using iTunes, or on the iPhone, iPod touch  or iPod classic.

Read our guide to searching for and playing captioned videos on iTunes in our video section.

Searching for captioned video using Harkle

Harkle is a search engine that looks for captioned video and audio on the internet that matches your search request.

Searching for captioned video on YouTube

You can search for close captioned YouTube videos through the YouTube website. YouTube also has a number of advanced features such as auto-transcribe that uses Google’s speech recognition software to provide automated captions for YouTube videos, auto-translate that translates English language captions into different languages and interactive transcriptions.

Visit our how-to guides for YouTube to learn how to search for captioned videos on YouTube, turn on captions as well as use YouTube’s auto-translate, auto-transcribe and interactive transcript features.

Why not caption your own YouTube videos too?

Other sources of captioned video

You will find other closed captioned video on the internet, however not all will be discoverable using a search engine.

Web Browsers

No matter what computer you are using, you will access the Internet through a web browser. The most commonly used web browsers in order of popularity are Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari (Mac OS X) and Opera.

Web browsers have some common accessibility features that can assist people who rely on the use of a keyboard or who need to make a webpage easier to see. These features allow you to:

  • increase and decrease the size of text and images on the screen for better visibility;
  • change the type and size of the font that is used on web pages;
  • change the colours of items such as font or background;
  • use keyboard shortcuts to speed up browsing.

The following section briefly looks at the five most commonly used web browsers and highlights unique accessibility features that can assist people with a disability.

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox has the advantage of custom built add-ons that may enhance accessibility like the Accessibility Extension that allows keyboard access to document structure. Mozilla keeps a list of its accessibility features in Firefox up to date, including the current state of assistive technology support on Windows with Firefox.

How-to turn on accessibility features in Mozilla Firefox

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer simplifies common tasks using what Microsoft refers to as Accelerators. To use Accelerators, highlight text from any web page, and then click on the blue Accelerator icon that appears above your selection to perform tasks such as blog or email with Windows Live (Microsoft’s blog and email software), translate and define words, or search.

How-to turn on accessibility features in Internet Explorer

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is an open-source browser project. Google Chrome’s unique selling point is its speed, both time to launch and page load times.

Reports from the web indicate that despite the many features of Google Chrome the browser falls short of providing an accessible experience for users with disabilities. On their respective blogs, David Bolter wonders about WAI-ARIA support and Steve Faulkner of the Paciello Group questions a number of missing features, including:

  1. Limited support for keyboard input
  2. No support for Windows high contrast mode
  3. Lack of programmatic clues for interface elements
  4. Information describing links or focused elements not interpreted by screen readers

However, and according to the Google Accessible help pages, Google Chrome now supports the Windows Accessibility API (MSAA) to display accessibility information and events for its features and web content. Many of its features and tasks have relevant keyboard shortcuts and navigation. Some important shortcuts that you can use include the following:

  1. Shift+Alt+T: Set keyboard focus on the Google Chrome toolbar. Use your right and left arrow keys to navigate to different buttons on the toolbar.
  2. F6 or Ctrl+L: Highlight the content in the web address area on the address bar.

How-to turn on accessibility features in Google Chrome

Safari (MAC OS X)

Safari, built by Apple specifically for the Mac OS, seamlessly integrates with Apple’s VoiceOver technology, which will read what is on a web page out aloud to you. Safari includes all the standard accessibility features of most web browsers.

How-to turn on accessibility features in Safari (Mac OS X)


Opera offers some added features that may assist your browsing experience.

Also visit our information on how-to turn on accessibility features in Opera.