Captions for Videos and Live Events
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Captions make media more accessible for many people, including those who are culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing. Captions can also be used by people trying to understand video content in crowded and noisy places, by people who are learning or practicing a new language, and by people who find captions help to hold their attention. In an educational setting, captioned video can provide better understanding and information processing for people with different learning styles.

Captions translate the dialogue, music, and sound in a video into text that appears on screen. Captions may identify who is speaking, the tone and emotion in what they are saying, ambient sound and will sometimes include an image of a music note to indicate music (CRTC, 2016). Live sports and live events are captioned as the program is being broadcast. In this case, a captioner listens to the audio broadcast and re-speaks or types the words into a special computer program and another program adds captions to the television signal.

Image: Microphone and broadcasting console.

Learning Outcomes

  • Assess how to make video content accessible for people who are culturally Deaf, oral deaf, deafened, and hard of hearing, and many others, in order to acknowledge systemic barriers in broadcast media.
  • Evaluate recent initiatives to make broadcast video content more accessible within Canada in order to make video and live events inclusive.
  • Apply industry-standard grammar and style conventions in order to write inclusive captions for video.
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Important Terms and Concepts

  • Closed Captioning
  • Open Captioning
  • Subtitles
  • Live Captioning
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Connect to Practice

Making video content accessible by learning about captioning.