Why Do We Need Captions?
I travel quite a bit to work and back home. While I am commuting, I often tend to watch movies or series on my mobile. Now, do I have co-watchers, who do this every day, oh yes! With traffic and other sounds, am I able to follow the video or the content present in the video, unfortunately, I have to say, ‘Only sometimes.’ Visualize this scenario for yourself! Then, you would find the answer for the question ‘why we need captions?’
Just to let everyone know, I can hear well; at least I think so
Myth that captions are meant for people with hearing disabilities is untrue as any user can benefit from captions. To summarize the benefits of captions – they help:
- people understand your video with sound cues even when they are at public places
- Captions provide a whole different user experience for users who have difficulty following a foreign accent
- Captions help users with hearing difficulties to consume the video content just like anyone else.
In addition to these, subtitles and interactive transcripts will help your video to be loved by Google, by improving your SEO ratings. Want to know how to improve your SEO ratings through captioning your videos?
What does WCAG expect?
WCAG, which stands for, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, asks for certain considerations for captions and subtitles. First of all, it is important to note that captions are important for people who are deaf. For deaf users to be able to understand the video or audio it is imperative to provide captions or text transcripts.
- WCAG SC 1.2.1 – asks for text transcripts for audio only content. Ideally what it asks for is textual transcription of audio content present on the webpage.
- WCAG SC 1.2.2 – asks for captions to be provided for videos that are present on the webpage. Only exception is when it is an alternative for the textual content.
- WCAG 1.2.4 – asks for captioning to be present for live media. Ideally, any live media that is telecasted must have captions to be present.
Points to Ponder
- Captions are best when videos with dialogs, discussions and many sound cues are plenty like in movies
- Transcripts are best for silent videos, speeches, video lectures etc.
- Interactive transcripts are best for multimedia that are interlaced with lectures and texts too.
Captions and text transcripts are not a very hard nut to crack. Go ahead and try it out in your videos.