Captioning & Description
Captions are meant to support people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. They are different from subtitles, which are only meant to translate dialogue for viewers who speak a different language. Subtitles assume the audience can hear music, background sounds, or non-verbal content. Captions, by contrast, will include these sounds in addition to all dialogue. They will describe sound effects, the type of music playing, or if the speaker has an accent.
Captions have been shown to support the learning of students who speak English as an additional language, students with learning disabilities, and students who are new to a discipline and may be unfamiliar with unique terminology.
There are two types of captioning: open and closed. Open or “hard” captions are permanently embedded in the video stream and cannot be turned off by the user. Closed captions contain the exact same text as open captions, although users have the ability to toggle them on or off using the video player.
There are different factors to consider when deciding between open or closed captioning, such as the target audience, where it’s being uploaded, what video player or platform, and accessibility features of the video player.
There are many tools available to approach captioning. Below are just a couple of recommended suggestions. If you want to try captioning videos yourself, we recommend checking out the following resources:
Similar to closed captioning on a video; live captioning is done live in real-time where a person listens in remotely over the internet (via Skype for example) or phone, and delivers the reproduced text instantaneously on a projected screen, TV or a user’s mobile device.
For more information, please visit Remote Captioning for Events.
As stipulated by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) Level A standards: all videos or audio that will be posted on a website or within a D2L course shell must be captioned and/or transcribed. Videos or audio used in your course made by a third party must be captioned upon request.
If you have a student in your course who requires captioned media, please contact Library Accessibility Services as soon as possible. Library Accessibility Services will work with everyone involved to ensure access to course materials, including the student, instructor and Academic Accommodation Support.