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The Importance of Closed Captioning, Demonstrated

By: Art Morgan
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We recently came across the video below, which provides yet another powerful demonstration of the importance of closed captioning in your educational videos. Watch the one minute video below, created by Kerri Holferty, and then pause to reflect.

If you don’t understand American Sign Language, how did you feel as you watched the first 30 seconds? Then imaging having that same experience dozens of times a day, as you go to class, search your library, or search online for educational videos that will help you learn new subjects. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, that’s exactly how you feel when you search in vain for useful video tutorials, only to find that most are not captioned.

The tide is turning, but slowly. More and more video content is captioned each year, thanks to the efforts of colleges, universities, and educational video publishers that are now captioning their videos in compliance with ADA, CVAA, Section 508 and 504, and other state and local laws that require that such content be made accessible to people with disabilities.

Holferty makes four key points about why it’s important to make instructional video content accessible by adding captions:

  • It meets students varying learning styles.
  • It supports English as a Second Language learners.
  • It provides access for students with disabilities.
  • It’s the law.

So, if you are involved in creating instructional video content take Holferty’s advice to heart; the importance of closed captioning is not only because it is “the law,” as you’ll realize after watching the video and putting yourself in a deaf person’s shoes, it’s also the right thing to do.