Information Communication Technology (ICT)
When it comes to accessibility in multimedia, what are features you need to take into consideration?
- Captioning (either closed or open)
- CART (communication access real-time translation) or live captioning
- Description (audio description or video description)
- Text-based transcript
To further your understanding of captioning:
- Captioning - Open, Closed and Real-Time
- Captioning/Multimedia Glossary
- Multimedia Accessibility Checklists - the checklists provide reminders of the different components that make up accessible multimedia.
- A good guide on captioning
- Ncam captioning resource
- A bit on Audio Descriptions and Captioning
The key to accessible multimedia is to think about accessibility in the planning stage. What message are you attempting to convey? How is your choice of media the best means to convey this message? Finally, ask: what do we need to do to make this message fully accessible?
Answering these questions up front helps ensure that your multimedia is not only meaningful and useful, but that you've allocated appropriate resources to the activity or project. Failing to do so can significantly increase project time and costs.
Captioning - Open or Closed
There are a variety of ways to caption media, mostly depending on whether you're working with a live event or a pre-recorded video, webinar, podcast, etc.
Options for captioning vary widely, and require special software and technical skills. Accuracy and quality are very important considerations. Depending on the media's length, complexity, and visibility, you may decide it is best to hire a professional. It's important to remember to include costs for captioning or audio description when planning a budget for your event or project.
For an overview and resources on closed-captioning, the following may help:
- Captioning YouTube Videos
- Captions and Subtitles tutorial for Adobe Premiere Pro
- Captioning Videos by 3playmedia
- Faceboook Live
- YouTube Live - Setting up Captions for YouTube Live Events, including captioning software that supports YouTube Live
- Periscope - Periscope does not have native capability - here's instructions from CaptionSync on how to add live captioning to Periscope
Description (Audio or Video)
Description, often termed "audio description" or "video description" is the practice of providing verbal description of key visual information. In a live event such as a webinar or in-person presentation, often the speaker can provide the description. For recorded media, professional describers create a second sound track that editors then add to the media. Producers can choose to provide the description either through a button on the player (similar to the "cc" option for closed captions) or by offering two media links - one with and one without description. When planning your project, it is important to determine how you will support description, such as whether to hire a description service and how you will make the description available.
The following resources provide an overview and additional resources on description:
- Description Key, by the federally-funded Described and Captioned Media Program
- w3.org's Web Accessibility Initiative provides some general information on description strategies and approaches
- Description Service Vendors (Look under U.S. Vendors)
There are a variety of situations in which you may want to provide a text transcript.
- To support the audio recording of a public meeting
- To make a podcast or slide presentation accessible
- To supplement a captioned video
If there are visual elements, the text transcript should include a description of those elements.
While you may be tempted to ask someone in your office to transcribe the audio file, that can be impractical. A single hour of audio can run as much as 100 pages of text!
To find a professional transcriber, use the state contract search for court reporting services (type in keywords court reporting services)
- Court reporting transcribers will provide faster turnaround, but their rates may be higher.
- Secretarial transcribers may take longer, but at a lower rate.
If your meeting is supported by live captioning, or CART (communication access real-time translation), you can ask for a transcript as part of the deliverable.
Have a resource for ICT Accessibility to share with us? Email your resource to firstname.lastname@example.org