About 20 percent of Americans report of having hearing loss to some degree. This can make watching media difficult, so producers make captions that convey words and other important information in their media to help it reach all audiences. Federal law states that federal agencies are required to make all their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. More information on Section 508. To caption a video, permission must be granted by the copyright holder of the material, but Fair Use may help to get around some copyright laws. More on copyright and fair use.

How Captions help

Everyone can benefit for captioned videos. They ensure a diverse audience can view the video/media, including those with hearing impairments and people who are deaf. Captions also benefit people English is not their first language and anyone in a situation where the surroundings are noisy or the volume needs to turned low/off. Sometimes the audio quality is poor and speakers are difficult understand. From an educational perspective, captions help people comprehend and retain. Seeing text and hearing the words simultaneously reinforce learning concepts, encourage understanding and use of vocabulary words, and help those with learning disabilities. More information on how captions benefit everyone.

Options for adding captions to a video

There are many outside sources that will take a video or audio clip and caption it for you, but it comes at cost. Most 3rd parties charge between $1-3 dollars per minute of video. There may be extra charges for special video, audio clips that exceed a certain length, have multiple speakers in a single sentence, or if the video/audio clip has poor audio quality. Instruction on how to caption a video by yourself.  See other captioning options.

Benefits of doing captions yourself

  • Free to low cost (depending on the programs that you use)
  • You can choose the software that will be used to create the captions for a variety of needs

Benefits of having 3rd party caption

  • Some 3rd parties have the option of a 24 hr completion guarantee
  • Most 3rd parties guarantee 99 percent accuracy
  • No additional software needed

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