Quick Tips for Adding Video Captions

Ensure that your videos are accessible to Deaf and hard of hearing people by adding captions.

Why Caption Your Video?

In addition to supporting communication access for Deaf and hard of hearing viewers, captions can also benefit hearing people who are watching your video with the sound off or in loud environments, people whose primary language is not the language of your video, and others.

Up to 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound according to multiple publications. All the more reason to ensure your videos are captioned!

Captions vs. Subtitles

Captions and subtitles are slightly different terms. While both provide text for dialogue, captions also include sound notes for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. For example, captions might read: “applause,” “audience laughs.”

Who Can Help Me Caption My Video?

How you caption your video may depend on how you plan to show your video.

If you plan to show your video on YouTube, you might want to take advantage of YouTube's “automatic captioning” feature. One major caveat: the results are prone to inaccuracies, and you should manually correct any inaccuracies. Use the link below for a video tutorial to caption YouTube videos in-house. YouTube allows individual users to display or hide the captions as they choose.

Longer videos (10 minutes or more) can be tedious to caption in-house. Consider including captioning as part of your contract with video production contractors, or hire vendors that provide captioning services post-production.

Once you take the time to include captions for your video, let viewers know they're available! You might do this either in the video title e.g. "My Movie (captions available)" or in the video description area.