Captioning at UIC

Why?

The Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act guidelines and other laws require synchronized captions for most multimedia at the time the video is posted. There are two exceptions:

  1. You absolutely know that no person seeing the videos requires captions.
  2. No action in the video requires captioning. For example, a professor is lecturing without any visual actions and is just talking. In this case a text transcript would still be required of the lecture.

Beyond legal needs, there are other reasons to caption:

  1. Captioned videos allow for universal access to videos, they are not just for people with disabilities.
  2. Many people use captions in quiet environments.
  3. Captioning is useful when English is a person’s second language.
  4. Captioned videos allow for people using search engines to find specific text from the video.

How?

DO – The most important first step is to create a text transcript of the video.

  1. Outsourcing the creation of the transcript and the rest of the video captioning process (expensive way, but generally higher quality).
  2. You have to deal with turn around time whether you use internal or outsourced services.
  3. You can considerably reduce the expense of captioning a video if you have already created a transcript of the lecture. A creative way to create a transcript is to use Dragon Naturally Speaking or other speech recognition programs to repeat the words of a video into a text document.
  4. The timing of synchronizing the words with the actions is important for a captioned video to be useful.

CAUTION: Automatically creating captions through automatic speech recognition is not reliable and is discouraged.
CAUTION: YouTube allows for automatically generated captions, but the captions are unreliable.
DO NEXT: Investigate some of resources noted below to create captioned videos.

Below is few resources to help you caption videos:

YouTube Video Captioning Resources

There are many resources to create captioned videos in YouTube. One resource that can be helpful is YouTube’s own directions to create captioned videos.
Amara is a good resource to caption Youtube videos. It has an editor to make it easy to create and sync captions to Youtube videos.
Easy YouTube Caption Creator was developed to help you create the captioned transcript for your YouTube file.
Subtitle Horse is also an editor to create YouTube video transcriptions.

Captioning Other Video Formats

Help is also available for captioning other video formats.

Adobe Captivate allows for captioning of videos. An Adobe Captivate blog outlines the directions to insert captions into videos.

Captioning using Camtasia Studio
Camtasia Studio is a screen capture and video editing software available at the WebStore. Camtasia can easily add captions to video using Speech to Text, importing of a script or through an automated manual workflow. The video can then be uploaded to YouTube right from Camtasia. Here is a quick guide that shows the manual process.

MAGpie is a free software that captions a variety of file formats including.mov .rm / .ra,.wav,.avi, .swf, .mpg / .mpeg, .mp3, .mp4, .3gp, .smil / .sml, .wmv .asf and DV formats.

Echo360 Captioning

3Play Media and Automatic Sync Technologies are companies that have a service to caption Echo360 files. They both work to automated the process be creating the transcript and syncing it with the Echo video. There is a cost based with these services.
There is a manual way to caption Echo videos. Here is the directions:
To get the audio file
You will need to download the audio content that you intend to transcribe. The EchoSystem Server makes this easy to do.

  1. Find the presentation that you want to caption.
  2. Hover over the presentation name and click “closed caption”
  3. Download and save the audio MP3 file

To add the captioning content
When the captioning or transcription text is completed, you need to add this new metadata to the presentation. Again, the EchoSystem Server makes this a painless process.

  1. Find the presentation that you want to caption
  2. Hover over the presentation name and click “edit”
  3. Click on the “Add Resources” button at the bottom of the edit page
  4. Either type in, or browse to and select, the name of the file that contains your captioning track
  5. Click on the “Add Resources” button to save the content

The ESS will now add the captioning track to the presentation.

Real Time Captioning

Live events that publicly available and/or have a person with a hearing impairment attending that are live online also need captioning.
Blackboard Collaborate is a tool that integrates the capabilities for live captioning for webinars. A captioner can type into a window that can be displayed by the participant. For support in captioning Collborate webinars contact the ACCC’s Instructional Technology Lab at 312-996-9824 or by email itl@uic.edu.

If you are in need of support in finding a company that will do real time captioning contact the DRC by phone at (312) 413-2183 or by email at drc@uic.edu

Outsourcing Captioning Services

Departments may want to caption their own videos “in house” using tools as listed above. Departments may also decide that it would be better to outsource the work to a vendor. There are many companies that can complete the whole process of captioning videos for online usage. If you have a transcript, that would reduce the cost for the department. There are companies will also complete the transcript and full synchronization of the captioning. You can contact the DRC by phone at (312) 413-2183 or by email at drc@uic.edu concerning more information concerning outsourcing captioning services.