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Video Captions

  • Captions are text synchronized with the multimedia for people who cannot hear the spoken words
  • Captions come in two forms—open or closed. Closed captioning (CC) can be turned off by the viewer with the click of a button, while open captions are essentially burned into the video and cannot be turned off
  • Captions are beneficial to a lot of people including Deaf or hard of hearing, people who are not fluent in the language used in the audio content, and people with cognitive disabilities who may need to see the words, not just hear them

Audio/Video Transcripts

  • Transcripts are the full text of the spoken words and important visual information in the media file, to read as an alternative to watching or listening to the media file
  • Transcripts are text-based documents that serve as an alternative to information presented in an audible and visual format. They are similar to captions, but they take the experience to the next level by including important sound effects and other significant visual descriptions (ex. describing eerie sounds in the background)
  • Transcripts help people who are hard of hearing, Deaf, or Deafblind, but are also great for people with cognitive disabilities or people who want to browse through audio and video information at their own speed

Audio Descriptions

  • Audio descriptions are a version of the multimedia file that includes a narrator explaining important visual information (such as unspoken actions and events) for the benefit of people who cannot see what’s happening on the screen
  • Audio descriptions, unlike captions and transcripts, are a recording of a person explaining the visual aspects of the video that aren’t in the video’s original dialog or narration (e.g. describing facial expressions or scenery)
  • Audio descriptions and extended audio descriptions primarily help people who are blind or have low vision but could also help people with some cognitive disorders as well
  • While it is best practice to provide audio descriptions, ISU does not require this currently

Sign Language Interpretation

  • Sign language interpretation for multimedia is when you add a video of an interpreter, usually shown in a box to the side of the video, who narrates the audio portion through sign language. If you are live streaming your event, typically the sign language interpreter is in the same room as the speaker
  • Sign language interpretation is important for multimedia since for many people who are Deaf, sign language is their first and most fluent language

Social Media

Social media, like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, are readily available and free to use. All are resources that organizations, such as Iowa State, are leveraging to better communicate with their followers. However, not everyone can access social media. Note: since the recording of this video on March 30, 2020, Facebook has enabled auto-generated captions for its livestreams and the ability to upload a caption file (.srt) to embed captions in uploaded video content.  

In this webinar, Cyndi Wiley, Digital Accessibility Lead for Iowa State University, will dive into how you can make your social media more accessible to more people.   

Learn about: 

  • Best practices for creating graphics
  • How to use alt-text 
  • How to create accessible videos for social media 
  • The benefits of accessible social media

Watch on YouTube for full transcript.

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