Resources for developers and publishers: APIs, captioning, and standards

Google encourages developers and publishers to build accessibility into their web applications and content. Making applications accessible not only ensures equal access to the roughly 650 million people in the world with disabilities, but also often benefits even non-disabled people by allowing them to customize their experience. At the same time, solving for users with disabilities presents developers with exciting technical challenges and allows them to position products for institutional users, such those in government and education, helping them comply with legal regulations.


Android has an accessibility layer that helps blind and low vision users navigate their Android devices more easily. These services provide things like text-to-speech, haptic feedback and trackball/D-pad navigation that augment the user experience.

Android’s developer site provides specific information on Designing for Accessibility.

3rd party resources:


Chrome supports assistive technology including many screen readers and magnifiers. To ensure that you web application is accessible on Chrome and on the web at large, we’ve outlined best practices using HTML5 and ARIA in the Google IO presentation on our Chrome developer site.

Google has developed the ChromeVox screen reader for Chrome OS. We’re also making ChromeVox available to developers to use as an extension for Chrome on the desktop. This extension allows developers to test their web apps with a screen reader inside the browser so that they can experience their products as a blind user would and conduct better accessibility testing.

Chrome Extensions are another way to make the browser more accessible for any user, without needing to install external software. There are already great examples of Accessibility Extensions that allow users, including those with disabilities, to customize their experience. Here are some specific examples:

YouTube Captioning

There are numerous ways to ensure your video has closed captioning. You can add your own captions with a written script, work with a vendor to create a caption file, or allow YouTube to auto-caption your video, which you can then edit for accuracy. Google worked with DCMP (The Described and Captioned Media Program) to identify a list of qualified YouTube ready vendors for your reference. Here’s more information from our blog post on the general state of YouTube captioning.

For developers, the YouTube Data API makes it easy to interact with and upload captions. Check out the Open Source YouTube Caption Uploader project, which is a working example of how to use the API to interact with captions in YouTube, and can be used by anyone to upload multiple caption tracks for videos on a channel that they own.