Captioning is an art that can be done well only by experienced human captioning professionals who are familiar with quality standards. Bad captions are not better than no captions and do not solve accessibility issues. Good quality captions and transcripts are as important as a well edited book and clear audio.
Some common examples of captioning issues that increase cognitive load for those who depend on text access only and cannot otherwise access audio:
1 – Auto captions
Do not use auto captions. They need to be properly edited or new captions need to be made from scratch.
2 – No contrast
Captions without proper contrast are hard or impossible to read. Make sure they have good contrast.
3 – Too small or too big or not consistent
Make sure that captions have a font that is not too small or too big and is of consistent size.
4 – Too much text with poor chunking
Captions need to be chunked properly in no more than one to two lines and not be too wide.
5 – Live (real-time) captions vs post-production (offline) captions
Scrolling live captions and pop up video captions are not the same. Live captions are meant only for live events and for real time broadcasting and need to be converted into proper video captions and transcripts for post recorded media by other qualified professionals.
The list above is not exhaustive and only includes some examples. There are many more examples of bad captions and transcripts and certain quality guidelines to follow.
You have an option to:
- request quality checks of your captions and transcripts if you want to ensure that your text is formatted correctly and easy to read. We can offer that service to you.
- outsource captioning and transcribing work. Our contractors can create captions and transcripts for you.
- request a workshop and training on good quality captioning and transcribing standards. We can provide that to you.
Svetlana is a founder of Audio Accessibility who is not only an experienced captioning consultant but also an experienced captioning user who is deaf. So she can provide an unique insight into high quality speech to text access. She wrote a book and gave a TEDx talk on this topic.
Contact us to get started.