Accessibility Tip of the Week

Complete your content with captions.

  • Summary: Adding captions to your video content enhances and clarifies your message.
  • Who it helps: Captions allow individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or who have difficulty processing audio to experience your multimedia content.
  • Additional benefits: Captions also attract attention in social media, help individuals who have sound turned off or are in noisy environments, and make your video content searchable.

Captions are text versions of dialogue and important sounds that are displayed on the screen. Captions can be created manually or generated automatically. The quality of automatically generated captions is rapidly increasing, as is their use. However, they are still below the quality of manually created captions.

All recorded content that you host or link to from your site, emails, or social media posts should include captions. This allows people with various hearing and language difficulties to understand your message. Some neurodivergent people, non-native speakers, and individuals listening to a show with a different accent may prefer to display captions. Captioning your content also allows it to be indexed by search engines or certain sections findable by members of your audience.

What can I do?

  1. Start from automatically generated captions to save time.
    • Turn on and record the captions when you record presentations.
    • Use YouTube’s autogenerated captions when hosting a video.
  2. Read through the Described and Captioned Media Program Captioning Tip Sheet .
  3. Review and edit the captions before posting.
  4. Add any important sounds that were not captured in the captions.
  5. Watch the video to make sure the captions align with the audio.
  6. If possible, download the resulting transcript and link to it with the video.

Learn more about captions at ta11y.org.

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0    .

If you are promoting accessibility within your organization or community, sending out easy-to-understand tips can be a helpful addition to your strategy. You are welcome to share the tips here under the mentioned Creative Commons license, as long as you cite Accessible Community as your source.