Captioning video allows it to be seen in multiple locations and by more people. Not only can people who are hard of hearing view your video, but it can be seen in a place where you can’t play sound. In this video, author Jeff Greenberg elaborates on several reasons why it might be important to close caption a video.
- Captioning video will allow it to be seen in a lot of other locations, places where maybe you don't have sound. It's not just for the people who have difficulty hearing. Let's examine some of the reasons why you might want to be captioning your video. The obvious one is of course, you're being sensitive for those with hearing issues. A very hidden but powerful feature of closed captioning is that it provides search engine optimization. There's no way Google, at this point, can look at your video and know what's in it, it's just a bunch of pictures.
But by having a closed caption track, YouTube, Google, and others index that information, allowing them to serve ads, allowing them to provide content for your viewers. You get higher user retention, some people actually like to read the dialogue as it goes or they may end up being distracted by other things in the environment and having the text there makes it just a little bit more accessible to them. A number of people are taking English as a second language and use the closed captioning to actually learn English.
And there are a variety of places where having the volume up isn't appropriate, whether it's libraries, whether it's bars, having the closed caption information there allows people watching to follow what's going on. But possibly the biggest reason you'd want to caption a video is for 508 government compliance. This is a US item and if this isn't in your cards, you can just go ahead and skip over the rest of this video but I want to talk a little bit about this 508 compliance. 508 compliance is based off an act from 1998 that federal agencies need to make all their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities.
This is basically on the idea that inaccessible technology means that they're at a disadvantage to acquire that information. This 508 compliance was enacted to eliminate these barriers to make it easier for people with disabilities to acquire, level the playing field if you will. It applies to all federal agencies so if you're working for a government agency, you should expect this to be part and parcel of your deliverables. Under this section, it's crucial that the agency give disabled employees and members of the public access that's comparable, that's that leveling the playing field concept.
And this specifically has to do with video and multimedia items. Regardless of what agency, they don't get a flag, they have to include this information, this 508 compliance. And this goes to all training and informational video and multimedia productions, regardless of the agencies mission. It also includes audio descriptive material, such as music, you can use this as alternate text or open caption presentations. Open captions being burnt in information.
While there's a lot of information out there, I'm going to point you out to www.section508.gov where they happen to have quite a number of resources and particularly this app at buyaccessible.gov which you can spec and tell you based on your role exactly what the deliverables you need to have.
- Making closed captions and open captions
- Reviewing different transcription services
- Timing scripts to audio verbatim
- Importing and viewing captions
- Navigating the Premiere Pro Caption panel
- Adjusting caption timing
- Creating a caption track
- Formatting captions
- Changing the caption format: 608, 708, and open captions
- Using the Transcriptive plugin to create subtitles
- Exporting the media with embedded captions