Accessibility 101: Why Videos Should Be Transcribed

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Video transcriptions describe the procedure of creating written account of the important action and dialogue in a certain video. These written accounts are more commonly known as transcripts and they will be very useful for people with hearing disabilitie

There are also certain sources out there which offer such services for free and one example in this regard are the news agencies. For a certain fee, professional transcription services will basically provide a transcript of any video.

audio transcription specialists, DoneItNow

References:

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/needs/pages/vdei.aspx

Understanding Transcripts

To offer a definition on transcripts, they are an electronic or printed text document that describes anything that happens in a sound or auditory medium. The transcript will indentify all speakers and also all the dialogue and pertinent sounds like those of music or laughter which will be indicated in brackets.

A transcript will most of the times be required for people who are deaf or have hearing problems and in order to ensure that it’s as accurate as possible, such tasks will only be undertaken by professionals.

In what regards video transcription in particular, it’s basically a subclass of transcription that emphasizes on sources like film and television and it can include descriptions of references and visual info which are known as “timecodes” that correspond to the seconds and also minutes of the initial video.

Uses

Not only will video transcription help out deaf people with enjoying their incidence with media in general, but it’s also useful for professional and academic research, especially in cases when the use of the original video is impractical or when the video is not available. For example, the analysis of a video’s subject matter can be made much easier, and that is due to the fact that the text can be separated in paragraphs which can then be marked accordingly.

Where video playback is impossible, the transcript may also be referenced in locations where video playback is missing. Thus, people with a scholarly, professional or personal interest in a topic or show may find it more practical and useful to consider adding a transcript to their files on the subject. It seems that most of the times transcripts of interviews, lectures and meetings will prove to be very useful to employees of a business, writers, students and of course, deaf people.

Closed Captioning

Closed caption describes a very special type of video transcription that is useful for people who are hard of hearing and for the deaf. While for regular people, auditory materials and dialogue will be presented in general by using videos or just recorded sounds alone, deaf people receive a special treatment through closed captioning. This implies the auditory material and dialogue are going to be presented on the edge of their screen, as they’re occurring in the video.

This function can be accessed through the player or TV controls and the good news is that it’s available for a large range of programming, sometimes even TV commercials. There are also cases when captioning is present on live shows, like sporting events and news, but they can be erratic because the information is transcribed in real time. On top of that, there are even video games that offer closed captioning.

How Deaf People Are Limited On The Web

A few studies have been taking place recently that were aimed at describing online search behaviors of teens that have lost their hearing or were born deaf. The study mostly emphasized search behaviors like website selection, website identification, query modification and query formation.

The study consisted of 2 fact based search tasks and it took place in 4 regional day school programs for people with hearing disabilities. After the students have performed the 2 search tasks, they eventually managed to complete the analysis of the selected websites and reasoned their selection.

During the entire process, researchers were able to identify the processes deaf people used in order to make up for their lack of reading while they were surfing on WebPages that were filled with content that surpassed their average reading level by quite a bit. In the end, the study proved that students with hearing disabilities cannot validate, analyze, conduct or initiate effective online searches in response to fact based search tasks.

It’s A Visual Thing

Native sign languages cannot be considered solely a gestural representation of spoken language. Sign language is more of a spatial-visual language that doesn’t have a natural written form. When it comes to syntax and grammar, they bear hard differences when compared to that of spoken languages and in order to convey emphasis and essential meaning, they mostly rely on facial expression.

For instance, while many deaf people in Australia use English as a second language, Australian Sign Language or Ausland is the primary language they use. That is why it’s important that individuals recognize deafness primarily as a culture and not a disability.

So What’s The Solution?

Such a sensitive problem doesn’t have (unfortunately) a quick fix. The fact is that socially conscious designers can really take some steps into making it easier for deaf people to surf the web.

Writing For The Web

First of all, in order to enhance website readability, it’s important that the content is considered very carefully, especially the way it’s being conveyed. Sign language is very direct and in it, the main point is stated first and after that it can be expanded upon. Some of the aspects to consider when writing content for deaf people involve:

  • The inclusion of special glossary for specialized vocabulary (legal or medical terminology, accompanied by definitions in simple language).
  • Unnecessary slang and jargon should be avoided, as it can increase the individual’s cognitive load.
  • Content should be written with an active voice.
  • Using bulleted lists, plain language where possible and short line lengths are recommended.
  • One point should be made per paragraph.
  • The style should be journalistic (making a point and then explaining it).
  • The use of headings and subheadings is encouraged.

With that being said, by considering these measures, not only will deaf people find it easier to surf the web, but also users with learning and cognitive disabilities. And as with all internet documents, the content should be marked up as valid HTML, semantic and standards focused.

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