We’ll be totally honest: we may not be the type of vendor you’re looking for. If you’re just looking for a captioning company — one that will give you a quick caption file so you can check off a box, but then go AWOL when you need help with a bigger video accessibility problem — there are plenty of captioning companies out there that can do that. In fact, we don’t see ourselves as a captioning company; we want to be your video accessibility partner.
We’re looking for a long-term relationship. Despite what many companies may tell you, making video truly accessible is not just a matter of making sure your videos have captions. For example, is your video player accessible to users of assistive technology? Do your videos need audio description to make them accessible to blind and vision impaired users? What the captioning companies won’t tell you is that there are 38 success criteria that you need to comply with to have WCAG 2.0 Level AA conformance, and virtually all of them are relevant to your website’s video content and video players. The truth is it takes time, planning, and a lot of work to make all of your video fully accessible, and we want to be your partner as you work toward that goal.
AST’s CaptionSync service makes intelligent use of automation technologies that streamline the process where it is most effective, while retaining human talent where it is needed most. The process typically consists of the following four steps:
The entire process is completed within 8 hours when using our same-day service, and a range of turnaround time options are available that you can select from based on the priority of your jobs. If you already have a transcript, CaptionSync will produce caption files in just minutes; this service is referred to as Captioning Only. We also offer a Transcription Only service for when caption files are not needed.
One of the most common ways that captioning companies (and often also video platform companies) will attempt to mislead you is by trying to persuade you that captions are all the same, and that any captions are better than none at all. They’ll try to dazzle you with claims of of artificial intelligence (AI), “self-learning algorithms,” and other technological doublespeak. They may also be hiding the fact that they’re offshoring most of the human component of their process. This comes at a cost, which you may unwittingly pass on to the viewers of your videos: lower accuracy of the captions.
Accuracy is a primary concern for educational content, and CaptionSync addresses this need by utilizing trained transcribers recruited from the most demanding environments. We are not offering a speech recognition solution; we use trained professional transcribers to avoid the pitfalls and high error rates associated with speech recognition solutions. When recruiting transcribers we look for accredited transcription training and actual experience, and when vetting applicants we conduct our own quality and performance testing before hiring. Subsequent to hiring, AST constantly monitors both quality and timeliness, and takes immediate corrective action if transcriber performance falls below our standards.
Another thing that captioning companies won’t tell you until after you’ve signed a contract is that creating the caption files is typically just one small part of your challenge in making your video accessible, especially if you have many videos. How will you get the caption files into your video platform? Do you need to manually upload each file? CaptionSync provides over 20 workflow integrations, which vastly simplify the process of adding captions or audio descriptions to your videos.
Accessible Interactive Video Player
The CaptionSync Smart Player provides interactive transcript features that leverage transcript, caption and audio description data to create a more engaging experience. Viewers have the ability to click on individual words in the transcript to jump to the specific point in the video, or look up the word in a dictionary or encyclopedia. The Smart Player incorporates Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles by providing both additional representations of the video content and additional ways to engage with the content.
To communicate visual information in video content to the blind, AST has developed a service and innovative delivery method that provides Extended Audio Description (WCAG 2.0 SC 1.2.7), which is a more thorough form of audio description than standard audio description (WCAG 2.0 SC 1.2.5). With extended audio description, the video is paused when descriptions are required, allowing enough time to fully communicate the visual information and make the educational content accessible to those who are blind or have low vision.
Real-Time Captioning for Live Events
Our live captioning services include remote CART and remote text interpreting for educational settings, and also remote captioning for events and live broadcasts. Our large network of NCRA-certified captionists allows us to schedule an appropriate captionist for each session, with on-call backups available in the case of emergencies. For complex subject areas a need to go beyond NCRA certifications, finding captionists with appropriate background, subject matter expertise, and ongoing preparation required to provide high-quality services.
Those are the basic components of video accessibility, but this is really just scratching the surface. As you start working toward a goal of making your video truly accessible you will undoubtedly run into more questions, and that’s where our Customer Success and Technical Support teams come in. The Captionsync Support Center is the best place to start, with hundreds of articles and video tutorials, along with a friendly support team waiting to answer your questions. Our useful links page, the CaptionSync Blog, Video Accessibility Compliance page and our research page also have links to resources that are helpful to anyone who wants to create accessible video.
If you want a partner who will help you every step of the way as you head down the path toward providing accessible video, as opposed to a vendor who will just sell you services and then disappear, you’ve come to the right place.Get Started