Captioning enables ease of access for sighted individuals watching a video. If the video is in spoken English and published by a business, government entity, or non-profit, there may be laws that require that the video is captioned. This is why Youtube and Facebook Pages/Businesses offer an automatic captioning option. Note, this automatic captioning may contain too many errors to satisfy FCC standards, so care should be taken to edit automatically captioned content.
There are no laws that require individuals to caption their content (such as on Instagram stories or personal Facebook videos), so these platforms don't have easy options to make their content accessible.
Click here for our tips on how to celebrate accessibility on your personal social media pages. (link coming soon)
Watch and share this great video to encourage Instagram to make captioning easier. (link coming soon)
Transcribing is taking everything that is captioned and including it below the video or in a comment on the video. Braille display technology and screen readers are not always able to pick up captions that are embedded on a video. Luckily, transcriptions are a separate opportunity to make sure that your content is accessible.
Describing is making the visual content of your video/image accessible. It is the simple act of typing out a visual description of what you are sharing. This description can be picked up by a screen reader or a braille display, and the richness of your image will be available to the touch. Plus, it is a great way to add personality to your content; no one describes things the same way!