AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.



Captioning or subtitles as it’s sometimes called, is a process that involves providing on-screen text that represents what is being verbally said on any form of video content. Captions are time-coded to synchronise with the audio of the video in question; the text appears on the screen at the exact time as the same information is being spoken.

When should I provide captioning?

In your organisation you should provide captioning on any employee training/information videos, and any recorded videos/live streams/broadcasts geared towards employees.

Why is it important to provide captioning?

The most important reason for captioning is that doing so makes your video content accessible to people with disabilities, particularly for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. However, captions are also of major benefit to other cohorts of disabilities, such as learning disabilities and neurological disorders, because viewers are able to both see and hear the contents of the video simultaneously.

Captioning your video content is also just good practice that benefits all employees in an organisation. Captions have been found by numerous studies to improve the comprehension of e videos and streams, while also making them easier for people to watch wherever they are and whatever they’re doing. Making your content more accessible and inclusive truly does benefit everyone across the board!

How do I provide captioning?

Certain platforms, such as YouTube, use speech recognition technology to automatically create captions for your videos. A number of video-calling platforms (see our webpage) also has this function which can be very useful during staff or team meetings. However, these automatic captions are generated by machine learning algorithms, so the quality of the captions is often not adequate; misrepresenting the spoken content due to mispronunciations, accents, dialects, or background noise.

For all of your organisation’s live-streamed video content, you should be employing a third party captioning provider who will stream text from their closed captioning software. To take Zoom, for example, this video platform enables users to integrate a third-party captioning service in both Zoom meetings and webinars. 

Can someone make captions for me?

With regard to your employee training/information/recorded videos, a member of staff may be allocated to caption these after the fact, or indeed you can employ a third party provider for this service also. Two companies that AHEAD have worked with are the following;

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