What are Captions?
Captions, also called subtitles, provide a visual alternative to audio information. The caption text is displayed below the video so you can see the video synchronized with the text.
Why Use Captions?
Captions provide an alternative to audio that helps all types of users, including
- Deaf or hard of hearing
- Learning disabilities
- Visual or multi-modal learners
- English language learners
- Watching in noisy environment
- Watching in quiet environment
- Scrolling on social media
- Deciphering unfamiliar accents
Need for Accuracy
Many video platforms provide automated captioning. Auto-captions are good for increasing the general usability of videos for many people, but they aren’t 100% accurate. For accommodation needs, captions must be accurate to be usable. Auto-captions will need to be edited manually for accommodation needs.
For example, in this snapshot of a Cheers episode, the captions are nonsensical: “I would have wanted to always Iraq was a cat fight police tell me if there was a cat fight.” Inaccurate captions can be worse than none at all.