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When and How To Caption Your Videos

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Apr 04, 2019

[Approximate Reading Time : 4 mins]

Captioning your videos is not just a matter of adding polish and making the videos more accessible to a wider audience, although it does both those things. In many cases, it is also a matter of compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act and other legislation protecting access to education materials for disabled people. Captioning fulfills the obligations of universities and other public institutions to provide information that is equally accessible to all, including those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, or who have part-time hearing difficulties like sensory processing disorder.

When and How To Caption Your Videos

When You Should Caption

 If you are creating videos for public consumption and your primary concern is widespread accessibility for all, you should caption any video with speech in it to be consistent. More specifically, you should caption if your video fits any of the following criteria:

  • You are publishing the video to the general public and cannot predict the makeup of the audience.
  • You know the audience and it includes people with hearing disabilities.
  • Your video will be presented without you there to provide additional visual aids like slideshows.

Depending on your position and the institution you work for, compliance could be a civil rights issue. MIT and Harvard are both being sued for failing to provide access for deaf viewers on videos, and efforts to get the suits dismissed have been consistently rejected. It’s not just academic videos, either, as a gas station in Florida is discovering.

How To Caption Videos

More and more platforms are trying to make captioning easy, with tools that allow you to add captions after upload or even to have a machine automatically scan the audio stream and generate them. Those efforts can lead to almost as many issues as no captions, though, because they do not integrate smoothly with the original content.

The best way to get captions done is with a professional who can accurately transcribe the video and then set the captions appropriately, so the video is as clear as possible whether the sound is on or off. For more information about cost-effective captioning services, contact Amnet today.

Sources:
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/04/08/mit-and-harvard-fail-get-out-video-captioning-court-case
https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/2019/01/17/closed-captioning-on-gas-pump-tvs-the-new-frontier-of-floridas-ada-suits/?slreturn=20190308123016

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