Increasing Accessibility with Transcripts and Captions

Alliance Labs recently explored the creation and use of transcripts and captions for online video. Here are some key points from the post:

  • Transcripts and captions differ on purpose and context.
  • A transcript is the text version of a multimedia file. You can read a transcript without playing the video file.
  • Captions appear while the video is playing, to provide a synced text version of the audio.
  • To be accessible to the maximum number of users, web multimedia should include both synchronized captions AND a descriptive transcript.
  • YouTube has some built-in accessibility features, but there are many captioning and transcribing services.
  • Although both caption and transcribing produce files consisting of written text, it may not be feasible to adapt one to create the other: you may need a separate service for each.

The Alliance Labs post, below, includes their findings about which services worked best for their purposes. You may need to do your own experiments; many companies will provide sample files that can help you choose which service will work best for you.

Transcripts and Captions for Digital Video

Our experiment For this experiment we selected two videos that were released with the Building Cultural Audiences website. The first step was to select our transcription and captioning services. Based on a Google search for “video transcriptions,” we identified five services.

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