Captioning Video


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A presentation about captioning idea for users with disabilities and others. Discusses the advantages of captioning and why it is important, as well as provides many tips and resources related to making videos more accessible.

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  • Great info, Staci. For an easy-to-use desktop solution, please try MovieCaptioner (Mac/Win). We offer a free ebook 'Get Started with Video Captioning' (in PDF or iBooks format) that is a good guide for people new to video captioning. It's really very easy with the right tools! Here is the link:
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  • Welcome to captioning videos for accessibility!
  • Text transcripts of a video recording or webcasts are typically known as captions. Some people also call these “subtitles” although this is a slight misnomer. Subtitles are typically meant to refer to translations of the dialogue only, such as into other languages. Subtitles assume that the viewer can hear sound effects, music, and voice inflections. Captions, on the other hand, include information about non-spoken sounds as they are provided for audiences that cannot hear. In other words, captions are intended to replace sound entirely for the viewer. Of course, when captions are turned on they can actually increase understanding for everyone, including those who can hear, as it can clarify difficult-to-hear dialogue, or provide reinforcement of something important that has happened onscreen. Captions for educational videos can be especially useful for not just deaf and hard of hearing viewers, but also those with learning or language limitations.
  • Captions matter, as they can increase understanding of videos for your students, including helping with word recognition and reading fluency, as well as accommodating students with special needs. They are also not that hard to set up in any video that you have created, such as something recorded in Camtasia, which is great news for all of us that create a lot of recordings for our classes.
  • Captions should be onscreen long enough for someone to read at an average pace, which is why you also want to limit your captions to no more than two lines. Once you start having too many words onscreen at once, people can find them difficult to follow and can lose track of what’s going on in the video. Ideally, your captions should also be synched with the audio as much as possible – in this way, everyone is able to review the video at the same rate, and there are no misconceptions if something is being talked about in the video that hasn’t yet been put forward in the captions, or vice-versa. Punctuation and italics can help clarify meaning as well. Using questions, exclamation marks, and italic fonts to emphasize words that are emphasized in the audio can help viewers get the full understanding of what is going on, as they must take the place of verbal inflections and intonations. Sound effects and all actual words should be included in the captions as well. Especially in a movie, sound effects and off-screen audio can convey a lot of meaning that should not be missed out on. The effect of reading the captions should provide the same experience for the viewer as if they were able to hear the video.
  • There are a number of captioning tools available, although Camtasia has one of the easiest ones to work with, and is readily accessible to all of us at Purdue. You can write your own captions, use automatic voice recognition to begin the captioning process, or import a transcript. YouTube also has some caption editing services to help enhance its automatic service, which definitely does not work very well. You will not want to rely too heavily on any automatic tool for captioning your videos, as there are often errors. Machines simply aren’t ready to capture everything humans say in print, and we have to remember this at all times. Otherwise, we run the risk of letting a student turn on automatic captions and being very confused by what we are “saying”! Another free tool to try is Subtitle Workshop, which allows you to write or import you captions into existing videos of all kinds. If you already have some captured video that you want to add captions to, Subtitle Workshop may be a good option, especially if it is in a format that Camtasia cannot handle. The links on this slide and the next few slides will take you to help concerning these tools
  • Publisher-created videos can often be obtained in a captioned format, or you can request a transcription of some kind. It is the publisher’s responsibility to make their offerings accessible to you and your students, so consult them right away if there are issues with something you are using from a textbook or online publisher resource. Videos you create in Echo360 can be transcribed on an as-needed basis as well – you will want to consult with Disability Services should this be an issue in your class. You can also supplement your Echo videos in different ways, such as by providing your lecture notes, transcriptions, or slides for students. This way, as long as they can get roughly the same amount and depth of content as they could from listening to you, you can rely on this as a means of making your classroom more accessible.
  • Camtasia will definitely import transcript text from several formats, and can turn those into captions. This is great for lecture captures and presentation you create yourself in particular, although Camtasia can import video that is already created and edit it, as well, as long as it is in an MP4 or QuickTime format. Note that you may need to spend some time, whether you import or use the speech recognition feature, in editing – be aware that things may be out of sync, or simply not what you intended them to be. Luckily, once you go through this process once, you won’t have to do it again! The links on this page provide some excellent and useful tutorials for captioning videos using Camtasia.
  • As mentioned earlier, YouTube can also help you add captions to your own uploaded videos. Like Camtasia, the automatic captions only get you part of the way there – you must edit or upload your own caption files to ensure accuracy and that there are no “surprises” in your captioned videos. There are a number of great caption “non-examples” on YouTube to help you understand why it’s necessary to edit your captions if you need some persuasion – just be aware that some of these examples are “not safe for work!” For those videos that are not yours, you do not have as much freedom, as you of course cannot edit someone else’s video. This is where having alternatives, like an alternative reading or lecture notes, is essential for maximizing understanding. You should avoid relying on just a YouTube video or two to explain important concepts in your classroom so that you can not only accommodate all students, but also appeal to multiple learning styles as well.
  • PowerPoint can most certainly provide its own transcript – if the slides themselves are not enough, use the Notes section while you’re building your slides, much like this presentation has done. You can provide as much detail as you like, and these details can actually help all students understand your content that much more. The link on this slide provides some help in making PowerPoint more accessible in other ways as well, such as ensuring that your color choices are highly contrasting, and that you avoid using only images or color to convey important ideas.
  • There is a process for getting support for captioning at PNC, and depending on who you’re helping to accommodate, you can contact any of these individuals: Disability Services at 5374, Office of Institutional Equity at 5545, and Physical Facilities at 5531. They will be able to guide you toward the resources you need, including providing access to paid captioning services for videos longer than 10-15 minutes in length. Since Captioning can be an intensive process without having transcripts or notes already in a written format, do not feel like you are on your own – we are here to help!
  • Here are some links to some videos and services that are worth reviewing if you want to find out more about captions or review some examples of what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to using captioned video in your classroom.
  • Please contact us and visit for all workshop notes, links, and training needs. Thank you!
  • Captioning Video

    1. 1. ANASTASIA TREKLES, PH.D. Captioning Videos for Accessibility
    2. 2. • Provide text transcripts of a video or webcast • Can be used for translation and to accommodate the deaf and hard of hearing • Increases understanding for all! What are captions?
    3. 3. • Helps all viewers understand dialogue and sound effects in video • Helps with word recognition and fluency • Makes video accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing Why do captions matter?
    4. 4. • Captions should be onscreen long enough to be read • Limit to no more than two lines • Synchronize as well as possible with the spoken word • Punctuation and italics can clarify meaning • Describe sound effects when they convey meaning • All actual words are captioned Captioning Best Practices
    5. 5. • There are several tools available to help you caption videos you produce • Camtasia has captioning built-in • YouTube has online caption editing services • Subtitle Workshop is a free tool that allows you to write or import captions to almost any type of video Tools for Captioning
    6. 6. • Echo360 and longer in-house videos can be transcribed or captioned by an outside vendor on an as-needed basis • Publisher-created materials must be captioned/transcribed by the publisher, or permission must be granted to do it ourselves • Consult with Disability Services about these issues should they arise in your course What about Publisher and Echo360 videos?
    7. 7. • http://www.techsmit camtasia-8.html • http://accessproject. odules/multimedia/t ut_camtasia_studio.p hp • Camtasia can import transcript text and turn them into captions • Or, you can use the automatic speech recognition to create captions – make sure you edit!! Camtasia
    8. 8. • http://captiontube.apps • m/watch?v=9K4WJs94Ff Y • ols-and- wizards/accessibility- tools/easy-youtube- caption-creator/ • You can add captions to YouTube videos if you own (uploaded) them • Upload a caption file with time codes • Or, provide a transcript with no time codes and use automatic syncing • Automatic captioning available but you MUST EDIT! YouTube
    9. 9. • Keep your PowerPoints accessible: http://office.microsof us/powerpoint- help/creating- accessible- powerpoint- presentations- HA102013555.aspx • PowerPoint can be its own “transcript” if you use the Notes section to provide detailed information on each slide PowerPoint
    10. 10. • Student/Classroom: Contact the Disability Services office with request for accommodation • Staff/Faculty: Contact Office of Institutional Equity (Laura Odom, x5545) • Community Events: Contact Physical Facilities Coordinator(Ella Taylor, x5531) Support for Captioning Services
    11. 11. • Lecture video for EDCI 27000: • Described and Captioned Media Program (many free-loan videos on a lot of topics): • Cap That! Links to libraries with captions: captioned-videos • Great automatic caption “fail”: Some Examples and Resources
    12. 12. Reach us at: • • Twitter and Facebook: @PNCOLT • for all workshop notes, links, and training needs Thanks!