Media Accessibility: Deaf Perspectives

Last week, my University Libraries colleague Lindley Shedd and I offered an instruction session for COM 295: Intercultural Communication—Deaf Perspectives. One of the topics the class explores is media and the role it plays in the lives of the deaf. Lindley is Media Services Coordinator at the Sanford Media Center and talked about the Center’s support for digital media production. I talked about how people who are Deaf/deaf/hard of hearing access media and how content creators can ensure the audio and video we create is accessible to all.

The resources I referenced are listed below and bookmarked at mbfortson’s com295 Bookmarks on Diigo. You’ll notice several references to web accessibility. As much of our content access is happening online these days, I conflated web and multimedia access for purposes of the session, acknowledging they are not the same thing but closely related.

I’m always excited to have an opportunity to discuss accessibility. Much thanks to Lindley for inviting me to talk about one of my favorite topics!

User Perspectives

Keeping Web Accessibility In Mind (Transcript)
In this video from the ASD Project, three students share their individual experiences of using the web. Starting at 5:38, Curtis, who is deaf, points out some challenges he encounters while watching an online animation or video and suggests some solutions.

Considering the User Perspective: A Summary of Design Issues
This WebAIM resource summarizes accessibility challenges and solutions for deafness.

How People with Disabilities Use the Web
“This resource introduces how people with disabilities, including people with age-related impairments, use the Web. It describes tools and approaches that people with different kinds of disabilities use to browse the Web and the design barriers they encounter on the Web. It helps developers, designers, and others to understand the principles for creating accessible websites, web applications, browsers, and other web tools.” This document is an in-progress draft.

Transcripts, Captions, and Subtitles

You’ll find much of the information and examples I shared in these video accessibility slides by Terrill Thompson, technology accessibility specialist with the University of Washington and DO-IT:

I shared information from 3PlayMedia and Screenfont.CA about the differences between transcripts, captions, and subtitles, as well as open and closed captions:

  • Captioning 101
    • What is the difference between a transcript and closed captions?
    • What is the difference between closed captions, subtitles, and SDH?
    • What is the difference between closed captions and open captions?
    • What are closed captions?
  • Understanding captions & subtitles

3PlayMedia is also the source of the information I shared about the benefits of captioning for hearing audiences; the list of transcript benefits is from uiAccess.

DCMP‘s Captioning Key is my favorite resource for “How do I caption…” questions.

Captioning Tools

Some free tools for captioning are listed in DO-IT’s How do I make multimedia accessible? article. I referenced Amara for captioning web-hosted video.

Docsoft is the transcription and captioning tool administered by the University of Alabama Center for Instructional Technology. I shared this video demonstration of how Docsoft processes media files.

YouTube Captioning

Captions – YouTube Help

Creating subtitles and closed captions

Automatic timing for captions

Caption Fail

YouTube can automatically generate captions, but the quality may vary.

Taylor Swift Caption Fail is one of a series of Caption Fail videos from Rhett & Link.

Technology Accessibility at The University of Alabama

Accessibility resources from the UA Center for Instructional Technology Emerging Technology and Accessibility group.