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Distance Teaching & Learning, August 9, 2013
- More than 1 billion people have a disability
- 56.7 million report a disability in the U.S.
- 48 million (20%) in the U.S. have some hearing loss
- 11% of postsecondary students report having a disability
- 45% of 1.6 million veterans seek disability
- 177,000+ veterans claimed hearing loss
Captions are text that is time-sychronized with the media. They convey all spoken content as well as relevant sound effects. Captions originated in the early 1980s from an FCC mandate for broadcast TV.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act requires all Internet programming that previously aired on television with captions to have captions online, as well.
The values of captioning include:
- Accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing
- Accessibility for ESL viewers
- Flexibility to view anywhere, such as noisy environments or offices
- Navigation, better UX
- Used as source for translation
Boston University currently has over 3,000 students enrolled in online programs. To build their accessibility policy, they assembled a study team within ODE to brainstorm and strategize online accessibility issues. Working with on campus Office of Disability Services as well as outside peer groups to develop the best practices, they are working to put a policy in place that can be utilized on a University-wide level.
Currently only one program has a standard policy to caption all media elements, but the Office of Distance Education offers captioning for programs and courses on an "as needed" basis.
Other advantages to transcribing and captioning their content include giving students access to transcripts to use as an independent resource, generating scripts from existing audio/video media for faculty, and generating course content from existing or new audio/video media.
Rob Haley | Senior media Producer, Boston University
Tole Khesin | VP of Marketing, 3Play Media
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