Creating Accessible Video & Audio

Using Captions in YouTube

For video content, you should provide captions of the audio for the benefit of those without hearing, who are hard-of-hearing, and who are non-native speakers. Captions can be either closed captions (where a user can turn them on and off) or open captions (where the text is embedded into the video and cannot be turned on or off). 

Automatic Captioning

YouTube can use speech recognition technology to automatically create captions for your videos. Please remember that the automatic captions are generated by algorithms, so the quality and accuracy of the captions may vary. They may incorrectly caption the spoken content due to mispronunciation, accents, dialects, or background noise. You should always review the automatic captions to check for accuracy. Currently, automatic captions are available in Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese. 

How to review or edit automatic captions

Manually Adding Your Own Closed Captions in YouTube

Closed captions allow you to share your videos with a larger audience, including deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers and viewers who speak another language. If you already have captions, get help editing or removing existing captions.  There are four ways to add closed captions to your YouTube videos:

  • Uploading a file: The file needs to contain the text of what is said in the video and timestamps for when each line of text should be displayed.
  • Auto-sync: You can create closed captions by entering them in as you watch the video.
  • Type manually: You can choose to type or paste a transcript of your video captions. With this option, your subtitle timings will be set automatically.
  • Auto-translate: YouTube can use speech recognition technology to automatically create captions for your videos. If automatic captions are available, they'll automatically be published on the video.

How to add closed captions

Now Available

Live captioning and transcription in Zoom

Zoom now offers a Live Transcription Service for meetings. Live transcripts allow participants to see automatically generated captions and transcriptions of spoken audio in real time during a meeting or webinar.

how to use live captioning & transcription in Zoom

Video & Audio Transcripts

Transcripts are a translation of your audio files or video's audio into text. This can be done with automatic speech recognition technology or human transcribers. Audio & video files on WashU websites should include both captioning and a transcript along with the media. Like captions, transcripts provide equal access for people with hearing impairments. They also benefit non-native language speakers and viewers in a noisy environment. They also have the benefit of being searchable by search engines. 

Transcripts for audio files can be produced using the same methods as captioning - either through a professional vendor or with AI tools and manual editing. The transcript can be linked or displayed alongside the audio file. Transcripts should be accurate and include proper punctuation, speaker identification, and the identification of sounds other than speech.

Creating video and audio transcripts from YouTube 

When transcribing the YouTube videos on your website, how you do so will depend on where and how your video was uploaded: 

If you are hosting your videos with other services such as Vimeo, you will need to check with your individual service on how to create your transcripts.