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BACKGROUND: LAWSUITS AND ACCESSIBILITY
In early 2015, several lawsuits were brought against Harvard and MIT for “failing to provide closed captioning in their online lectures, courses, podcasts and other educational materials”1. The lawsuits detailed ways in
which this failure violated antidiscrimination laws by making publicly funded educational materials inaccessible to those with hearing disabilities, those who lack access to video sound, and bilingual and multilingual
viewers. Further, an “international, independent body of experts in 2008” 2 set Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) in 2008. This requires that all video has captions that are accurate, synchronized,
accessible, and open or closed, as well as robust transcripts. This is now becoming the standard for the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which apply
to all institutions of higher education (both public and private) and federal and state entities that receive specific federal funds.2
Having begun captioning its videos in 2008, in 2015 the Taubman Health Sciences Library (THL) started assessing accessibility levels, and also investigating techniques for creating accessible videos in order to
comply more fully with WCAG 2.0.
METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS:
Investigation revealed that in-house captioning of our videos was inefficient and strained limited
resources. THL decided to look into professional captioning as a more efficient alternative.
OUR PROCESS:
While the discussion around professional captioning continues, THL has established the following
process to caption our videos:
1.  Upload the completed video to YouTube as an “unlisted” video so it is not public without captions
and a transcript.
2.  Allow YouTube’s Automatic Speech Recognition process (ASR) to produce initial captions.
3.  Utilize content creator’s storyboard and transcript (when available), to correct any errors
(uncapitalized letters, missing punctuation, unrecognized scientific terms, etc.) in YouTube’s caption
editing interface.
4.  Publish corrected captions in YouTube and download SRT file for use on any platforms where the
video might appear.
Try Not to Get Sued!Kai Donovan, Elise Wescom, Mark Chaffee, Jean Song, Breanna Hamm, Chase Masters
Author Affiliations: Taubman Health Sciences Library / University of Michigan Library, Ann Arbor, MI
The Pursuit of Accessibility and a
Professional Captioning Service for
All Library Videos
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The authors gratefully acknowledge Stephanie Rosen, Accessibility Specialist, University Library, for her leadership and contributions to the research and documentation underlying this poster.
1. Lewin, T. (2015, Feb. 12). Harvard and M.I.T. are Sued Over Lack of Closed Captions. New York Times, pp. A18. 2. Hamm, B., & Rosen, S. (2017). You Can Caption. Unpublished presentation. 3. Donovan, K., Wescom, E., Chaffee, M., & Masters, C. (2016). THL captioning costs report.
Unpublished report. 4. Rosen, S., Donovan, K., Hamm, B., Wescom, E., & McIntyre, R. (2016). Library video accessibility, Nov 2016. Unpublished report.
3
Cielo24’s manual captioning interface. THL chose not to utilize this interface because of its cluttered
complexity and its difficulty of use.
An extensive report was researched, composed, and presented to the Library’s Executive Council to
make the case for the cost-effectiveness of professional captioning.4
Captioning Methods Compared
from short 15 minute 8 second
2-person live action presentation
video excerpt:
•  Correcting Canvas Cielo24
automatic captions
•  Creating Transcript in
YouTube’s Interface by hand
•  Correcting YouTube’s automatic
captions
•  Creating Transcript in Word by
hand
•  Cielo24 – Paid captions + THL
Review
Least Accurate:
•  Creating Transcript in
YouTube’s Interface by hand
Most Accurate:
•  Cielo24 – Paid captions + THL
Review
THL approximate cost per video minute
(average of THL in-house captioning methods):
•  $7.20
Cielo24 cost per video minute (includes
interactive searchable transcript in Canvas):
•  $1.67
YouTube’s manual captioning interface. THL utilizes this interface the most because it is intuitive and easy
to use. Notable features include: the scrolling timeline beneath the video, soundtrack, and subtitle editing
column on the left.
Cielo24’s manual captioning interface. THL chose not to utilize this interface because of its cluttered
complexity and its difficulty of use.
A chart featured in the captioning report presented to the Library Executive Council. This chart compares the
various benefits and features of the three most viable options.3

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Try Not to Get Sued! The Pursuit of Accessibility and a Professional Captioning Service for All Library Videos

  • 1. BACKGROUND: LAWSUITS AND ACCESSIBILITY In early 2015, several lawsuits were brought against Harvard and MIT for “failing to provide closed captioning in their online lectures, courses, podcasts and other educational materials”1. The lawsuits detailed ways in which this failure violated antidiscrimination laws by making publicly funded educational materials inaccessible to those with hearing disabilities, those who lack access to video sound, and bilingual and multilingual viewers. Further, an “international, independent body of experts in 2008” 2 set Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0) in 2008. This requires that all video has captions that are accurate, synchronized, accessible, and open or closed, as well as robust transcripts. This is now becoming the standard for the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which apply to all institutions of higher education (both public and private) and federal and state entities that receive specific federal funds.2 Having begun captioning its videos in 2008, in 2015 the Taubman Health Sciences Library (THL) started assessing accessibility levels, and also investigating techniques for creating accessible videos in order to comply more fully with WCAG 2.0. METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS: Investigation revealed that in-house captioning of our videos was inefficient and strained limited resources. THL decided to look into professional captioning as a more efficient alternative. OUR PROCESS: While the discussion around professional captioning continues, THL has established the following process to caption our videos: 1.  Upload the completed video to YouTube as an “unlisted” video so it is not public without captions and a transcript. 2.  Allow YouTube’s Automatic Speech Recognition process (ASR) to produce initial captions. 3.  Utilize content creator’s storyboard and transcript (when available), to correct any errors (uncapitalized letters, missing punctuation, unrecognized scientific terms, etc.) in YouTube’s caption editing interface. 4.  Publish corrected captions in YouTube and download SRT file for use on any platforms where the video might appear. Try Not to Get Sued!Kai Donovan, Elise Wescom, Mark Chaffee, Jean Song, Breanna Hamm, Chase Masters Author Affiliations: Taubman Health Sciences Library / University of Michigan Library, Ann Arbor, MI The Pursuit of Accessibility and a Professional Captioning Service for All Library Videos ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The authors gratefully acknowledge Stephanie Rosen, Accessibility Specialist, University Library, for her leadership and contributions to the research and documentation underlying this poster. 1. Lewin, T. (2015, Feb. 12). Harvard and M.I.T. are Sued Over Lack of Closed Captions. New York Times, pp. A18. 2. Hamm, B., & Rosen, S. (2017). You Can Caption. Unpublished presentation. 3. Donovan, K., Wescom, E., Chaffee, M., & Masters, C. (2016). THL captioning costs report. Unpublished report. 4. Rosen, S., Donovan, K., Hamm, B., Wescom, E., & McIntyre, R. (2016). Library video accessibility, Nov 2016. Unpublished report. 3 Cielo24’s manual captioning interface. THL chose not to utilize this interface because of its cluttered complexity and its difficulty of use. An extensive report was researched, composed, and presented to the Library’s Executive Council to make the case for the cost-effectiveness of professional captioning.4 Captioning Methods Compared from short 15 minute 8 second 2-person live action presentation video excerpt: •  Correcting Canvas Cielo24 automatic captions •  Creating Transcript in YouTube’s Interface by hand •  Correcting YouTube’s automatic captions •  Creating Transcript in Word by hand •  Cielo24 – Paid captions + THL Review Least Accurate: •  Creating Transcript in YouTube’s Interface by hand Most Accurate: •  Cielo24 – Paid captions + THL Review THL approximate cost per video minute (average of THL in-house captioning methods): •  $7.20 Cielo24 cost per video minute (includes interactive searchable transcript in Canvas): •  $1.67 YouTube’s manual captioning interface. THL utilizes this interface the most because it is intuitive and easy to use. Notable features include: the scrolling timeline beneath the video, soundtrack, and subtitle editing column on the left. Cielo24’s manual captioning interface. THL chose not to utilize this interface because of its cluttered complexity and its difficulty of use. A chart featured in the captioning report presented to the Library Executive Council. This chart compares the various benefits and features of the three most viable options.3