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Librarian Accessibility Guide: Videos & Objects

Captions are NOT optional!

The prevalence of affordable--even free-software options for creating fast & visually descriptive screencasts has led to a surge in librarians creating videos on topics like how to find books, searching the library's databases, & common information literacy issues. Those who do not create their own screencasts may utilize the video tutorials provided by others, via YouTube, Vimeo, or database vendors. Regardless of whether you are creating or borrowing, all videos with an audio element must have synchronous captions.

Screencast-o-matic is one free tool that provides the ability to make captions for your video. For a minimal fee, users can purchase the Pro version which also enables creators to write a script in advance, then modify the script as changes occur to the resource being recorded. Videos can be downloaded in a variety of formats, embedded from the screencast-o-matic site, or uploaded to YouTube.

CaptionTube is another free option for creating transcripts of YouTube videos. If you have already created and uploaded your own video to YouTube, you can use CaptionTube to create a transcript, then upload that transcript to your YouTube account to ensure that captions are accurate.

If you do not OWN the YouTube video that you are using, you can still use CaptionTube to create a transcript for the embedded video so that visitors have an asynchronous option for understanding the content. Please note: this is NOT considered an accessible alternative, but it is better than nothing while you either research captioned video replacements, or create your own.

What about Podcasts?

Podcasts & other audio files are considered accessible provided that they have an accompanying transcript. A site visitor can utilize the asynchronous transcript without losing any valuable information, unlike an audiovisual resource which will need a synchronous method of alternative delivery.

Bonus Tips!

  • Provide a link to the source of the embedded object; this will make it easy for the user to navigate to it if their browser does not display the embedded content (also includes embedded chat widgets)
  • Provide a "noembed" code within the html of the embedded object--this message will display for users who's browsers block the embedded content. See an HTML Tutorial for information on how to add a "noembed" to your source code.



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