At the end of August, MIT TechTV switched to Kaltura as its online video platform. Kaltura, an open-source solution, offers many valuable features, from adaptive streaming and support for high-definition video to the ability to customize video players.
One of the first options MIT TechTV has adopted from Kaltura’s feature set is support for closed captions. Closed captions make videos accessible to those who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as those who use English as a second language. Videos with closed captions also rank higher in search results, since search engines index both closed captions and transcripts.
In addition to these compelling reasons, there’s a new legal impetus for using closed captions. President Barack Obama recently signed the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which may result in a mandate to caption online videos in the near future.
Creating Closed Captions
You can add closed captions to a video file on MIT TechTV by creating and uploading an .srt (subrip subtitle) file. There are many websites and downloadable programs that can help you make .srt files: steps usually include typing the text and syncing it to the video. To find out about these captioning tools, see the MIT ATIC Web Accessibility/Video page.
If you prefer to outsource closed captioning, MIT TechTV offers a subtitle creation service for a fee. For more information, send mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact MIT TechTV if you’d like to volunteer to caption videos.
The ATIC Web Accessibility/Video page provides guidelines for captioning video and a list of related video resources. If you have questions about web accessibility, send mail to the IS&T Accessibility and Usability Team.