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A Free-O Trio: Combining YouTube, VLC, and CADET for Quality Captioning

taught by: Jen Perkins

Session Summary:

A key accessibility feature of quality videos—and a legal standard for many entities—is accurate captioning. However, video creators often know little about producing captions and lack any budget to get such work done. It’s common to think that automatic captions by such platforms as YouTube are adequate, yet such automation cannot generate an accuracy rate even close to the 99% industry standard. What can a video creator do to ensure that captioning requirements and guidelines are met when no money is available to do it?

In this session, you will learn how to combine free features of YouTube, VLC Media Player, and the National Center for Accessible Media’s Caption and Description Editing Tool (CADET) to produce accurate, well-structured caption files for both your own and third-party videos.

Description:

A key accessibility feature of quality online videos—and a legal standard for many entities—is accurate captioning. However, video creators often know little about producing captions and are given little to no funding to outsource such work to captioning providers. Those new to captioning often think that automatic captions via such platforms as YouTube are adequate, but automatic captioning tools cannot generate an accuracy rate even close to the 99% industry standard. What can a video creator do to ensure that captioning requirements and guidelines are met when no money is available to make this happen?

In this session, you will learn how to integrate features of three free media tools—YouTube, VLC Media Player, and the National Center for Accessible Media’s Caption and Description Editing Tool (CADET)—to efficiently create captions at no cost, according to industry standards, and without the need for a continuous Internet connection. You will exit the session with knowledge and skills to start creating your own caption files in standard formats, such as WebVTT and SRT.

You will also discover the flexibility of the demonstrated process, with no need for a continuous Internet connection—a feature that competing captioning tools lack. You will be introduced to a common set of captioning guidelines, the Described and Captioned Media Program’s (DCMP’s) Captioning Key. Finally, you will see how you can create caption files for not just your own media but also third-party videos, enabling you to help an even larger audience than your own while achieving your accessibility goals.

The class will proceed as follows:

  • Introduction of the class purpose and goals
  • Description of the media tools to be integrated and their roles in the process
  • Demonstration of each step of the captioning process
  • Discussion of where media tools and supplementary tools may be downloaded or otherwise found
  • Brief discussion of captioning guidelines
  • Question-and-answer time

Practical Skills:

Do you produce videos for your organization but lack a budget for captioning them? What can you do to provide professional, well-structured captions when no financial resources are available to make it happen? In this session, you’ll learn how to combine the features of three free media tools to efficiently create captions at no cost, according to industry standards, and without the need for a continuous Internet connection.

Presentation Materials: