As our nation ages, more people are affected by hearing loss. For many, in order to hear the television or an online video the sound must be turned up so loud that it disturbs other family members and friends. But it’s not just senior citizens who are dealing with hearing loss. Many young people also have trouble hearing. For these people, closed captioning is blessing.
Video captioning isn’t just for those with hearing loss. Even people with good hearing sometimes have trouble hearing and understanding what an actor, broadcaster, or sportscaster said and have to rewind–sometimes multiple times!
English as a Second Language
The United States has a large population of immigrants. For most of these people, English is a second language, so captioning makes it easier for them to follow along with the speech on television or an online video.
Closed captions help them comprehend dialogue that is spoken quickly, that has an accent or is mumbled, or is difficult to hear because of background noises.
ADD, ADHD, Autism
People who have learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or autism find that captions help them maintain concentration. That makes video captioning services an important consideration for educational materials.
Video captioning is also helpful if you’re trying to view something, such as a training video, in a sound-sensitive environment like an office or library.
Studies report that videos that include captions have higher user engagement. As an added bonus, there also appears to be an increase in search engine optimization (SEO) for online videos that include captions.
Recently, celebrity Nyle DiMarco has been publicly advocating for captions in media, including films viewed in movie theaters, for those who have hearing impairments. These people may not hear as well as others, but they want the chance to enjoy a movie with their friends and relatives who aren’t hearing-impaired.
508 Closed Captioning Requirements
On Thursday, January 18, Section 508 standards went into effect requiring all federal organizations and states that receive funding from the federal government provide equal access to digital services for people with sensory, cognitive, or physical disabilities.
Government entities that provide live streaming or recordings of public meetings need closed captioning to be compliant with these new requirements.
So you can see, there are many reasons to include video captioning.