eAccessibility Update: Closed Captions

November 7, 2018

eAccessibility Update: Closed Captions

Providing closed captions for videos is a best practice we should all be using. A study on television accessibility by Ofcom finds that 80% of people who use closed captions are neither deaf nor hard of hearing. And, while the remaining 20% is the most important audience to provide closed captions for, this goes to show how many environments call for closed captions. What are some of the reasons that someone from that 80% might prefer to watch video with closed captioning?: 1) Watching something in a loud environment. 2) Watching something without distracting others. 3) When the audio speakers on a device aren’t loud enough. 4) When the volume of a video is inconsistent. 5) Watching something in a foreign language. 5) To save battery consumption. 6) For taking notes from educational or resource videos. The list could go on and on. What is the take away? Failing to offer captions for all viewers probably means losing viewers. The ISU Extension and Outreach eAccessibility initiative seeks to reach ALL viewers, it’s a nice option to have, for 80% of those who opt to use closed captions, but that 20% demographic who use closed captioning due to deafness or hard of hearing is a huge demographic to exclude. We in Extension and Outreach are striving to make eAccessibility the norm.

Watch Jed Findlay provide examples in this video (2:18) of what closed captioning is and how we, in Extension and Outreach, can use it to ensure we’re meeting accessibility needs and preferences of 100% of our viewers.

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