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How to Caption Videos Like a Rock Star

taught by: Meryl Evans

Session Summary

Adding captions to videos is only half the equation of great captions. Learn how and what it takes to create awesome captions.


You're attending an accessibility conference. No one has to sell you on the importance of accessibility. But you may have to make the case to other people who don't think accessibility is a good enough reason to caption videos. Unbelievable, right? Unfortunately, that's reality.

Captioning nay-sayers say it takes too much time to captions. It's too expensive to caption. And the laws don't apply to them.

Moreover, all the captioning do-it-yourself (DIY) apps available has led to a lot of bad captions. Don't let all that hard work you put into captioning your videos go for naught. The best captions don't simply capture audio. They apply current best practices. 

When you attend Meryl's session, you'll learn how to convince creators to caption their videos. And if you apply her guidelines for captions, your captions will turn out awesome.

Why attend Meryl's session on captioning videos? She's been hearing-free aka profoundly deaf since birth. She absolutely depends on captions. When they suck, she quits watching. And she's not the only one.

Get your captioning questions answered by the person who depends on them. You'll learn:

  • How you can convince people to caption videos.
  • Captions vs. foreign film subtitles: Why the difference matters
  • Open vs. Closed Captions: What's the difference and which should I use?
  • The problem with automatic captions aka autocraptions
  • What are my options for captioning my videos?
  • How to add captions with HTML5.
  • How do I create awesome captions?

When Meryl started making videos, she wanted to caption them. As a self-employed professional, she worried about the investment to make this happen.

She became a mad scientist who conducted captioning experiments. Through trial-and-error, she figured out how to caption videos and caption them well. This became the basis for her Caption10: 10 Rules to Awesome Captions.

She created these guidelines before discovering Captioning Key, WCAG, and FCC guidelines. It turns out her guidelines overlap all of these and add a couple of more based on her experience as a caption viewer since 1983.

Meryl's captions from her earlier videos now make her cringe. That's because she kept learning how to improve the captioning. And she's always learning and avoiding the “We've always done it this way” syndrome.

AccessU attendees get the most complete training on everything you need to know about captioning videos.

Practical Skills

  • How to make the case to caption videos when accessibility isn't a good enough reason
  • How to add captions to videos
  • How to create great captions that keep people watching