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University of Toledo Libraries and Accessibility: Accessible Recordings

Resources on accessibility and services to persons with disabilities

Information on Captions

Captions are words usually placed at the bottom portion of the screen. They are the "audio" for deaf and hard of hearing people so that they can understand and enjoy the your content the same way as hearing people do. There are different types of captioning, different methods for creating and displaying captions, and different styles of captions.

Captioned video:

  • Improves access to your content for people who might be deaf or hard of hearing
  • Allows your audience to enjoy your content in an environment where it is inconvenient to play sound
  • Assists non-native English speakers to comprehend your message
  • Supports different learning styles, such as those who prefer to read instead of listen

Types of captioning:

  • Closed captions - hidden unless chosen by viewer to be visible. They are usually white letters encased in a black box.
  • Subtitles - sometimes always visible, as is the case with open captioning, and usually white or yellow letters with a black rim or drop shadow. Some subtitles, like those on DVD or the Internet, are displayed using the medium's menu options.
  • Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH) - similar to subtitles, but also includes information such as sound effects, speaker identification, and other essential non-speech features, presented as close to verbatim as possible.

Methods of captioning:

  • Off-line - captions created and added after a video has been recorded and before it is played, such as TV programs and educational media.
  • On-line - captions created and displayed at the time of video creation, sometimes referred to Real-time.

Styles of captions:

  • Pop-on - usually one or two lines of captions that appear onscreen and remain visible for several seconds before they disappear.on
  • Roll-up - usually verbatim and synchronized, follow double chevrons, and are used to indicate different speaker identifications. Each sentence "rolls up" to about three lines with the top line of the three disappearing as the new bottom line is added, allowing for continuous rolling.
  • Paint-on - similar to roll-up captions. They consist of individual words that are "painted on" from left to right and are usually verbatim.

For more information on captions, see the Described and Captioned Media Program's (DCMP) Learning Center

Captioning/Transcription Services

In Toledo, Deaf Services Center (DSC), provides captioning and transcription as part of their interpretation services. 

Other caption/transcription services include:

Resources on Virtual Accessibility

Creating Captions and Transcripts

Adding Captions

  • Amara - free software for manually adding captions or subtitles.
  • Cliptomatic - a low-cost app for Apple products that adds live captions while recording. You can edit the captions before finalizing the video.
  • Clips - a free app for Apple products. You can add captions while recording and edit afterwards.
  • Kapwing - an online editor for subtitling your videos. The service is free for videos up to 10 minutes.
  • YouTube - upload your video and use the platform to add captions

How do we make recordings accessible?

Accessible recordings (video and audio) are helpful for everyone, but can be critical for many people with disabilities. Creating accessible recordings  can broaden their reach and usability, and doesn't have to add significant time or cost. 

The United State General Services Administration (GSA) Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP) exists to provide technical assistance to help Federal agencies comply with the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communications Act and provides a wealth of resources to guide those responsible for creating video, audio, and digital content in making it accessible to and usably by individuals with disabilities.