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Center for Instructional Innovation

Accessibility

Accessibility

Accessibility

Video Closed Captioning

Video Captioning

A captioned video contains text that transcribes the narration and provides descriptions of the sounds and music that are present. The assumption is often that this is for use by people with hearing difficulties, but captions also benefit people who are not native speakers of the language used in the video, for those unfamiliar with the vocabulary of a discipline, and sometimes to allow interactive searches within the video. There are two ways to caption a video: open captions and closed captions.

Open Captions

Open captions burn the text onto the video image. If you can view the video, you will see the captions. They cannot be toggled on/off, and no player functionality is required. Open captions are added with a video editing process.

Closed Captions

Closed captions are the opposite of open captions. They can be toggled on/off, and require player functionality in order to be viewed. Closed captions are done using a timed-text file which is created by adding time codes to a transcript of the video. This is the approach most likely to be used if you need to caption your videos.

Quality Transcriptions Must Be:

Accurate - errorless transcription is the goal for each production.

Consistent - uniformity in style and presentation of all captioning features is crucial for viewer understanding.

Clear - a complete textual representation of the audio, including speaker identification and non-speech information, provides clarity.

Readable - captions are displayed with enough time to be read completely, are in synchronization with the audio, and are not obscured by (nor do they obscure) the visual content..

Equal - equal access requires that the meaning and intention of the material is completely preserved.

Creating a Caption File

The first step for either of the above options is to get an exact transcription of the video. In addition to accurately capturing the dialog, the transcription should identify who is speaking when there are multiple voices, and describe sounds.

If you have an existing script that was used to create the video, two options are possible. Professional services, or you can use YouTube to generate it. You may want to consider a professional service if you have a lot of video, but otherwise YouTube will allow you to upload the video and transcript, and produce a caption file.

The script will need to be slightly reformatted for best results. You don’t want too much text to appear on-screen at any one time (usually you limit the captioned text to two lines) so you will need to break the script into text slugs that will appear as a unit. Most automatic timing software recognizes the words being spoken in the video and tries to match it with the submitted text, so do not put in other sound descriptions like description of the musical soundtrack or identifying who is speaking unless you are sure the software accepts it and you know how to format these descriptions.

When writing a script make use of descriptive cues that are not visual (Bad example: Click here to type your name. Good example: Click the name field to type your name).

Guides To Creating Closed Captions

 

3C Media Closed Captioning

YouTube Closed Captioning

Camtasia Closed Captioning

 

Video Closed Captioning  Document

Captioning Key

Quality Transcriptions Must Be:

Accurate - errorless transcription is the goal for each production.

Consistent - uniformity in style and presentation of all captioning features is crucial for viewer understanding.

Clear - a complete textual representation of the audio, including speaker identification and non-speech information, provides clarity.

Readable - captions are displayed with enough time to be read completely, are in synchronization with the audio, and are not obscured by (nor do they obscure) the visual content..

Equal - equal access requires that the meaning and intention of the material is completely preserved.

 

TEXT

Text refers to the appearance and presentation of the letters and words. Text considerations include case, font, line division, and caption placement.

Case

Mixed case characters are preferred for readability. However, capital letters are used for an individual word or a single phrase to denote emphasis or shouting.

Font

A font, or typeface, is a set of characters at a certain size, weight, and style. Sometimes font selection is not possible, but often it is. Consistency throughout the media is extremely important.

  • The use of white characters is preferred.
  • Characters must be sans serif, have a drop or rim shadow, and be proportionally spaced.
  • The font must include upper- and lowercase letters with descenders that drop below the baseline. Pick a font and spacing technique that does not allow overlap with other characters, ascenders, or descenders.
  • The use of a translucent box is preferred so that the text will be clearer, especially on light backgrounds.
  • Multi-lined captions should be left aligned when technically possible.
Line Division

When a sentence is broken into two or more lines of captions, it should be broken at a logical point where speech normally pauses unless it would exceed the 32-characters-per-line-requirement.