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Audio and video automatic closed captions function

May 09, 2023
Closed captions for videos and audio content enable people with hearing impairments to understand the content. EqualWeb has become the first web accessibility vendor to provide a video and audio closed captions option for people with disabilities as part of its automatic services.

The unique benefit of the function is that it’s entirely automatic. Moreover, as the website owner, you can modify the automatic generic text if you find a mismatch between the video and the text (the AI may miss a few words here and there), using the Captions Editor in your dashboard.

The closed captions function includes a simple on-and-off activation button, a rating vote for feedback purposes, a new transcription window over the video or audio element, and a captions download option. The captions’ font conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 standards for easily accessible fonts.

Closed captions and transcriptions


The captions function includes a transcription of the entire video or audio element, which can be downloaded or read over the element at the ease of the user.

In case you are confused about the distinction between closed captions and transcriptions, it is not very important for accessibility or compliance, but you may keep in mind that closed captions are time-synchronized text that appears on elements with audio and are meant to convey the spoken content to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing. Closed captions typically appear on the bottom of the video screen and may also convey sound effects and other information, such as the speaker’s name or background noises.

Transcriptions, on the other hand, are text-only versions of the audio content that are typically provided as a separate file or displayed on a separate page. Transcriptions provide a written record of the spoken content, but they do not include time codes or other information related to the video itself.

The benefit of transcriptions is that they can enhance your website’s results for search engine optimization, or be used for copying quotes, references, etc.

How does it work?


Go to the URL of the website with video or audio elements. These must be video and audio HTML tags (for example, not YouTube, Vimeo, etc.). Now open the Auto AI Accessibility Widget and activate the “Add captions” function under the Content Adjustment section.
 
 

The “Add caption” function will automatically add transcriptions to the video or audio elements on the page. This might take a few moments for first-time played videos. Once the widget loads the captions on the elements, the captioning process will be stored in our database and will pop up instantly for all users.

As you will notice, the elements will display a small CC icon at the top-left corner of the video or audio element. Clicking on the icon will activate a drop-down menu with three options: activation or deactivation of captions; transcription viewer (opens a menu on the element with the text displayed in seconds); and a download captions option.

If you notice any issues with the AI’s transcription—as the editor of the website—you can go to your dashboard and access the Captions Editor. Within the Editor you can locate the video or audio with the identified issue, and edit the text in the indicated time slots to perfection.

Benefit summary


There are several benefits to transcribing the video and audio elements on a website automatically:

  1. Accessibility. Transcribing video and audio content makes it more accessible to individuals who are deaf or have hearing impairments.
  2. SEO. Although search engines won’t “capture” closed captions, they will index and rank transcription content more accurately, thus enhancing your web pages’ results on search platforms.
  3. User engagement. Increase the engagement of users with disabilities with your video or audio elements by providing them with transcriptions or captions.
  4. Comprehension. Even for users who don’t live with disabilities, audio content may not always be clear, with poor audio quality, strong accents, or words that are not spoken clearly enough. Having the closed captions and transcription option will help all users better comprehend the content on your website.
  5. Repurposing content. Once you have the transcription of your video and audio content, you can reuse the text format for other purposes such as blog posts, social media, landing pages, web pages, etc. Just copy and paste the transcribed text and use it elsewhere.
  6. Cost-efficient. Adding captions to videos is a costly endeavor! There are plenty of online services that offer transcribing services for not insignificant amounts of money. With EqualWeb’s automatic “Add Captions” option, as well as the Captions Editor, you can save yourself this cost by automatically adding captions to your video and audio content or manually writing the captions yourself.

To learn more about EqualWeb’s Auto AI Accessibility Widget and all its features, visit our pricing page here.

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