8 Benefits of Transcribing and Captioning Online Video

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Why should you transcribe and caption your videos? It’s a simple question with so many answers. This short brief explores the top 8 reasons why video transcription and captioning are beneficial for both your organization and your viewers. 

Topics include:

  • Improving accessibility for d/Deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers
  • Protecting your organization against disability discrimination lawsuits
  • Improving comprehension for English language learners
  • Increasing YouTube views and SEO
  • Providing a better user experience for watching and searching within a video
  • Making it easier to create derivative content from videos
  • Completing the first step of translating your videos into multiple languages

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Accessibility to Deaf or Hard of Hearing Viewers

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Closed captions were originally developed to provide an equivalent television viewing experience for people who are d/Deaf or hard-of-hearing. Time-synced text is the best alternative to audio for many of these viewers, of which there are 48 million in the United States alone. 

Quite simply, closed captions allow viewers with hearing loss to consume your videos, which broadens your audience, gives more people access to information, and demonstrates a commitment to digital inclusion. 

Protection Against Disability Discrimination Lawsuits

Anti-discrimination laws were enacted to protect the rights of people with disabilities to access the same resources as the rest of the population. Some of those laws require that videos include closed captions.

Closed captioning standards for television and media broadcasts in the US are strictly regulated by the FCC. The CVAA, passed in 2010, requires that media companies caption online video if it aired previously on TV with captions. 

More general anti-discrimination legislation like the Americans with Disabilities Act or Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is open to interpretation: Are all universities required to caption their online videos? What about eLearning videos?

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