Like pictures and illustrations, the use of video can present particular challenges to users with visual disabilities. Additionally, the use of videos without captioning or full transcripts can present particular challenges to users with auditory disabilities. The use of videos in a curricular context should be accompanied by at least:
Video captions not only benefit those who are deaf or hard of hearing, but learning disabled students, ESL learners, those who are in a quiet public environment and don’t have access to headphones (such as a library), and students in general. Also, video captioning improves comprehension and retention of information for all types of students.
CUNY Assistive Technology Services (CATS) provides an unlimited license for a captioning software called MovieCaptioner available to CUNY faculty and staff. You do NOT need to be a student, needing an accommodation, to ask CATS to create video captioning for your videos, they will help and produce captions for all video content being created for use. If you want to use MovieCaptioner and/or have questions contact the CATS office.
The Federal Government defines Audio Description as follows in its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for updating the US Access Board’s Section 508 Standards, Section E103.4, published February 22, 2015:
If you can add Transcripts - similar to the recorded video but does not have to be exact, incudes additional descriptions, explanations, or comments that may be beneficial.
Audio Descriptions - these are intended for users with visual disabilities and provide additional information about what is visible on the screen. For example, "They were walking through the park, the plants were green but they appeared cold, she coughed."
--Adapted from OpenLab Tips and SpringShare's Accessibility and LibGuides guide
Video captions, also known as same-language subtitles, benefit everyone who watches videos (children, adolescents, college students, and adults). More than 100 empirical studies document that captioning a video improves comprehension of, attention to, and memory for the video. Captions are particularly beneficial for persons watching videos in their non-native language, for children and adults learning to read, and for persons who are D/deaf or hard of hearing.
However, despite U.S. laws, which require captioning in most workplace and educational contexts, many video audiences and video creators are naïve about the legal mandate to caption, much less the empirical benefit of captions.
- Gernsbacher, M. A. (2015). Video Captions Benefit Everyone. Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 2(1), 195–202. http://doi.org/10.1177/2372732215602130