Less than 15% of the educational
videos available for purchase are
Even fewer educational DVD, CD-ROM,
and other media are captioned.
What is captioning?
“The process of converting the audio content
of a film, video, CD-ROM, DVD, webcast, live
event, and other productions into text which is
displayed on a screen, monitor, or
player. Captions not only display words as
the text equivalent of spoken dialogue or
narration, but also include sound effects,
speaker identification, and music.”
Q: Who needs captions?
A: Persons with a hearing loss.
28 million Americans are deaf or hard of
hearing (d/hh); they represent about 10%
of all Americans.
23,000 d/hh students were enrolled in
postsecondary education in 1992-93.
Percentage of full-time college freshmen
reporting hearing disabilities ranged from
.8% (1988) to .5% (2000).
Q: Who needs captions?
A: Persons not fluent in English.
Another 22 million Americans are foreign-
born, many of whom speak languages
other than English. They may seek
captioned programming as one way to
enhance their mastery of English.
490,933 international students were
enrolled in colleges and universities in
Who needs captions?
More than 3 million K-12 students are
Limited English Proficient.
44 million American adults have only
rudimentary reading and writing skills.
18 million Americans are under 5 years
of age, many of whom will learn to read
faster if they are given opportunity to
watch captioning on children's programs.
Who needs captions?
The information won’t be on the test.
It’s only a short clip.
The information is in the textbook and lecture
The interpreter can just tell the student what
is going on.
I can’t find a captioned version.
This TV doesn’t show captions.
It costs too much to caption a video.
It takes too much time to add captions.
The caption decoder in a TV is a magic
device that shows captions for all videos.
All you have to do is know how to turn it
Attaching a caption decoder or turning on
the internal decoder requires a degree in
Captions are distracting to hearing
Some Important Laws
The Television Decoder Circuitry Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The Telecommunications Act of 1996
The Rehabilitation Act--Section 508
FCC Report and Order: Digital
Television (DTV) Closed-Captioning
Where can I find captioned videos?
and the CMP
Encouraging the Use of
Explain the benefits.
Explain the law.
Remind them each semester.
Make captioned media available and
only purchase captioned media.
Make decoders available.
Encourage them to sign up for a CMP
Work with your administration to
establish caption-use policies.
What do you call that?
Types of captioning
Subtitles for the
Deaf and Hard of
What are the differences?
Styles of captioning
Methods of captioning
Ready to caption?
Although you plan to purchase only
captioned videos from now on, what do
you do about the many uncaptioned
videos you have on campus?
-Caption them yourself
You get what you pay for!
The most important thing to remember
when deciding to caption in-house or to
outsource is QUALITY!
Is less than the best, “good enough” for
Do we want to satisfy the letter of the
law or the spirit of the law?
Upper and lower-case
letters with descenders
The Captioning Key 32 characters per line
www.cfv.org Helvetica Medium (or
What’s wrong with that?
In-House or Outsourcing
Up-front cost vs. long-term cost
Time and personnel
Volume : How much? How often?
In-House Captioning Equipment
Longitudinal Time Code Reader Card--
Optional Time Base Corrector--$495
– You also need 2 VCRs and a computer.
– Someone who can transcribe the video.
– Someone with technical expertise to
encode the captions.
– Someone with skills in language
mechanics and captioning techniques.
– Enough time to complete the project (an
hour-long video requires from 8 to 20
hours of work).
Questions captioning agencies
will ask you:
How long is the video?
What format is it? (VHS, Beta, etc.)
What type of captions do I want?
When do I need it finished?
Questions you should ask the
How much will it cost?
– What format you send.
– What type of captions you want.
– If you provide a script.
– If you want a master only or multiple
How long is the turn-around time?
Do they allow for a proofing phase?
What does it cost to caption?
For a 30-minute video:
– VHS original.
– They transcribe the video.
– Pop-on closed captions or subtitles.
$840 $810 $755 $700 $625 $550 $240
So what’s the difference?
“Educational videos don’t need to be
works of art. You just need words on
“We don’t check spellings for anything.
For proper names, we spell phonetically
as best we can. After all, if a hearing
kid hears the name of a foreign river,
they don’t know how it is spelled either.”
Finally, ready to caption!
Now that you have decided how you will
add captions to your videos . . . Can you?
Is it legal?
Is it fair?
Is it moral?
Can I get away with it?
QUESTION: Is it breaking the copyright laws to
add captions to a commercially-produced video
shown in class?
ANSWER: Yes! But you can ask for permission.
QUESTION: Will “fair use” exclusions allow
captioning because the students are disabled?
ANSWER: Probably not.
Copyright vs. Fair Use
“Fair use” does allow reproduction of
copyrighted works for nonprofit
educational use. However, “fair use”
– How much of a work can be reproduced.
– How long the copies can be kept.
– Alteration of the work.
QUESTION: Does this mean I cannot
legally add captions to an educational
ANSWER: No. It simply means you need
to contact the holder of the copyright
and obtain permission . . . IN WRITING.
What about …?
Streaming Video on
Digital Media Captioning
How do you feel now?
How does a deaf student feel?
“I cannot live without closed captioning.”