As part of our commitment to giving back and sharing knowledge, we have partnered with the WordPress Foundation’s community team to run an official WordPress Meetup centered around building more accessible websites with WordPress. This post has a recap of our Meetup that took place on Thursday, December 2nd, 2021, and a video recording of the presentation.
About the Topic
During the WordPress Accessibility Meetup on December 2nd, Meryl Evans, an accessibility and digital marketing consultant, speaker, and writer discussed the importance of captions and how to ensure yours follow best practices.
Thanks to Our Sponsors
Leon Stafford, who sponsored the ASL Interpretation and live captions for this event, is a developer at Strattic and creator of WP2Static. He also maintains the Accessible Minimalism theme for Hugo and is in the process of porting that to WordPress. He thinks accessibility is one of the most important goals of technology, but also one of the hardest to get developers and stakeholders to care about. He gives thanks to all the champions in the a11y space and for everyone just becoming aware of its importance.
Empire Caption Solutions strives to create inclusive experiences and engage individuals with different abilities and backgrounds by providing high-quality accessibility services for recorded media, such as closed captions, transcriptions, Audio Description, and ASL interpretation. By utilizing both the latest technology and human expertise, ECS is able to help its clients meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria and ADA compliance while offering options that fit almost any budget.
About the Meetup
The WordPress Accessibility Meetup is a global group of WordPress developers, designers, and users interested in building more accessible websites. The meetup meets twice per month for presentations on a variety of topics related to making WordPress websites that can be used by people of all abilities. Meetups are held on the 1st Thursday of the month at 10 AM Central/8 AM Pacific and on the 3rd Monday of the month at 7 PM Central/5 PM Pacific.
Watch the Recording
If you missed the meetup or would like a recap, watch the video below or read the transcript. If you have questions about what was covered in this meetup please tweet us @EqualizeDigital on Twitter, or join our Facebook group for WordPress Accessibility.
Links Mentioned In This Video
The following resources were discussed or shared in the chat at this Meetup:
- Accessibility Tools Survey.
- Equalize Digital Website.
- Equalize Digital on Twitter.
- Leon Stafford on Twitter.
- Leon Stafford’s Website.
- Empire Caption Solutions on Twitter.
- Empire Caption Solutions website.
- Sponsor Thank You Tweet.
- Meryl Evans on Twitter.
- “Controlling Captions with WebVTT” on Meryl Evans’ website.
- “Guidelines and Best Practices for Captioning Educational Video” from the Described and Captioned Media Program.
- FCC Video Programming Accessibility Forum – Online Closed Captioning.
- “The Complete Guide to Captioned Videos” from Meryl Evans’ website.
Read the Transcript
Amber Hinds: Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining us for WordPress Accessibility Meetup. We’re going to officially get started in just a few moments. We’re going to give some time for people to join in. If you do want to — while people are joining, introduce yourself, feel free to — you can either unmute, if you feel more comfortable with that. You can type in the chat if that works better for you, or if you would like to be spotlighted, so our interpreter can see you and vocalize your introduction, we also have that as an option. You would just need to message me or post in the chat that you want to be spotlighted. And we can do that.
So it is helpful for our speaker to know who is joining the room, what their background is, if there’s anything specific that you’re hoping to get out of this Meetup. That can be helpful for her to know what to share. So, please, do introduce yourself, however you feel comfortable — background, any questions you might have. And we will officially get started in just a couple of minutes. I’m letting lots of people in right now. Which is a challenge in and of itself, talking and pressing the admit button and checking everything, I don’t know if that is hard for anyone else but I sometimes have a hard time focusing. Like, what is going on and what do I have to do.
I recognize some people. We have some previous speakers. Glen is here, who gave a great talk recently about using NVDA screen reader. And I think we just worked out — he’s gonna be back again with us in the Spring for another follow-up talk. And let’s see, who else do I recognize? Dave has been here before. Daniel from Empire Captions is here — we’re gonna actually talk about them in just a little bit.
And Patricia, you have come. And Patricia just introduced herself in the Chat. If you can’t see it, she said she’s Patricia from Sacramento, California, and she develops and maintains WordPress sites. So, thanks for coming again, Patricia. It’s good to see you, or see your words in the chat, I guess. I can’t see everyone on the screen.
I’ll wait another couple of minutes if anyone else wants to introduce themselves or pose any questions that they’re coming into this Meetup with, feel free to put those in. You could also just type in where you’re from. If you don’t want to give a whole big story. Sometimes it’s helpful to see the city as well. I always wonder, so this time zone has worked, we’ve had people from the U.K. before — when we were planning times, we were trying to pick times that would work across the world. And I think I — there, Mostafa says that he’s from Iran. I hope I said your name right, I apologize if I did not. So that’s awesome.
Destiny’s from Alameda, California, she’s a Developer Relations Wrangler. Cher is from London, Ontario, Canada. Someone asked if there’s an external link to captions. Unfortunately, there is not, unless our captioner is more familiar with that, because we’re typing right into Zoom. Do we have an external link for captions?
Meryl, do you know about that? If that’s possible?
Meryl Evans: Usually the captioner might have a link, because that’s a transcript. That is accessible for screen reader and Braille reader, so hopefully the captioner has that.
Amber Hinds: Do you mind unmuting for a second, Susan, and answering that question, is there one?
Susan (Captioner): Hi, it is — I was told — just a second. Hi, it is Susan. No, I was told we were captioning only into the Zoom pod. There are platforms that are external, but it wasn’t set up.
Amber Hinds: Okay. That’s what I thought. So, unfortunately, I apologize, we do not have an external link today. It is something that we could maybe look into if that would be helpful for people. Feel free to follow up with me and I can see what that would entail for future Meetup events. Otherwise, we only have the Zoom — Zoom captions right now.
I’ll do a couple more introductions, and then we’ll move through. So, let’s see, we have someone, Arthur —Artur? Is here from Frankfurt, Germany. Virginia from Copenhagen. Carrie from San Mateo, California. Jenelle from Tiffin, Ohio. Cam from the A11y Coder in Toronto. Cam’s going to speak for us also in the Spring, which is exciting. Cam says “great to see Meryl again,” so I think Cam may have attended one of your previous talks, Meryl. And Victoria is from San Francisco, is new to WordPress, wants to launch a website for her Pilates classes. Very exciting.
So I’m going to do — run through some of our introductions and announcements, and then we’ll hand it over to Meryl, because I know that’s who everyone is here to see. Feel free, if you have any questions or any other information to post it in the chat. I will do my best, during the Meetup, to monitor the chat, and vocalize, and speak out what has been written there in case anyone cannot see the chat. But that’s a good way to do it. And then Meryl might have other instructions about unmuting yourself later on if that’s something you want to do, and join in a conversation.
So real quick, some announcements. We always like to make sure everyone is aware that we have a Facebook group.
That website is — it’s Facebook.com/groups/wordpress.accessibility.
And you can join that group. And you can connect with other people outside of the Meetup. We can also put the link in the chat to make it easier for everyone. I also — oops — Sorry, I’m switching slides too quickly. I also want to make sure everyone is aware that we are doing a survey right now about digital accessibility tools. We’re especially hoping to get data on WordPress website users, but even if you don’t do WordPress websites you can take the survey.
It is not just for people who are super experienced with accessibility, there’s options where you can fill out the entire thing and say “I’ve never used accessibility tools, I don’t think about accessibility, I don’t test accessibility.” That is fine for us to get that information because we’re trying to get a clear picture. We do have a $200 Amazon gift card incentive that you can enter to win after you take the survey, which we’re going to give away this month. But our goal is to get at least 200 participants because we want a good amount of data and we’ll be publishing that and doing a Meetup on it early next year. Although I’ll say we’ve got a lot — I think it’s going to be — I think it’ll be in February that we’ll be doing that. So we’ll be sharing all of the information back with the community. So please take that at our website, you can see it on the screen, we can post it in the chat, but it is equalizedigital.com/survey.
Also, very exciting, if you are interested in planning events, I’m working with Joe Dolson who is one of the lead organizers for accessibility at — the accessibility team at — in the WordPress core, and he and I are going to be planning WP Accessibility Day 2022. It’ll be next Fall, probably in September or October. And it’s a 24-hour virtual conference for accessibility. We are having a meeting next week — I think — it actually — no, it might actually be the following week. I’m sorry, it might be on the 15th, I apologize that I don’t have this on the slides and I can’t remember.
We’re going to have an initial meeting for people to talk about what might be involved in planning and see who wants to help in planning, and then we’ll actually get started in earnest in January in planning the event. So we are looking for other people who would be interested in organizing WP Accessibility Day, so please reach out to me if you would be interested in helping with that. And then I always like to say if there’s anything that we can do, so like we had someone ask about having a transcript or captions outside of Zoom, if there’s anything that we can ever do to make this more accessible for you, please, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself, or Emma who is here, and you can just get us email@example.com, via email, or you can reach us through Meetup, but I know sometimes Meetup’s messaging features are not super accessible for some people, so if email is easier, then you can do that. We might also have a phone number on our website, so you can call if that’s your preferred method too.
So real quick, who are we? We are Equalize Digital, we’re a Certified B Corp, and a WordPress VIP agency, and we make a plugin for WordPress called Accessibility Checker. There is a free version of this on the wordpress.org repo. It is not one of those overlays that, like, says it’ll fix your website. What it is is a testing tool that flags problems for you on the back end. Sort of similar to how Yoast SEO or All in One SEO works where it scans your page and tells you things you can do to improve it. That’s what Accessibility Checker does also. I’ve already said what our website is, but if you’re on Twitter, we’re pretty active on Twitter, and we’re just @equalizedigital so feel free to tweet us or reach out that way.
We have two sponsors today. One is Leon Stafford. He has covered the cost of our ASL interpreters and live captioning. So, thank you very much, to Leon. Leon is a developer at Strattic, which is a headless WordPress hosting company if you’re not familiar with it. And he is also the creator of WP2Static. He maintains the Accessible Minimalism theme for Hugo, which is a different CMS, and is in the process of rebuilding that to work in WordPress. So, big thank you to Hugo, we really — er, sorry, to Leon. We really appreciate that.
And then we have another sponsor who is new that we’re super excited about. Empire Caption Solutions has generously agreed to donate their services to us for creating the transcripts and correcting the captions for our video recaps. This is something that we have been doing in house and covering the cost of, and since we’re not experts and maybe not the fastest typers with stenography machines, it takes us a long time.
So we were very, very excited to bring on Empire Caption Solutions as a sponsor. They strive to create inclusive experiences and engage users with different abilities and backgrounds by providing high-quality accessibility services for recorded media, which includes closed captions, transcripts — they also do audio descriptions, which if you’re not familiar with what that is, it’s for someone who cannot see the visuals in a video. They will actually vocalize the descriptions of what is happening, so someone who cannot see the video won’t miss out on important information. And they do some ASL interpretation as well. So they help their clients meet WCAG2.1 success criteria and be ADA compliant within very affordable means. They can work with a lot of different budget ranges so we definitely recommend you check them out as well.
We always like to encourage people to thank our sponsors. Maybe tweet at them on Twitter. And we were talking about it and I realized that it would be easier for you all if — instead of me saying this each time we just have a tweet that you could re-tweet so you don’t have to remember what people’s handles are.
So I think that Emma will post up a link — she just did in the chat — to Twitter. And it’s a tweet that tags our sponsors and if you want to re-tweet that and just say thanks to them, that helps encourage them to continue sponsoring to know what they’re doing is important. And then that way hopefully we can continue with it. I will note that we’re having increased costs with ASL in the new year and we’re looking for new sponsors, so if you’re interested in sponsoring, please do get in touch with me. Or if your company might be.
Some upcoming events to be aware of. Our next Meetup is Monday December 20th. It’s at 5:00 p.m. Pacific., or 7:00 p.m. central, if you live where I live. And it is called “Guiding Blind.” It’s Joyce Oshita and Chris Lane. They’re gonna be talking — it’s a collaboration of lived experiences in blindness and web development. They’re both accessibility engineers — that might not be their exact title, I apologize — at VMWare, and they’re going to do a live review of the FacetWP plugin and talking with the developers from FacetWP about what they can do to improve the accessibility in the plugin, what is really good, what maybe could be improved. So we’re excited about this because this is a first in a series where we’re hoping to be able to give back to the community and help give some audits and some real live feedback from users, or accessibility professionals to WordPress plugin developers so that they can make their plugins more accessible which, in turn, makes all of the websites that use them more accessible, so we’re really excited about that, and we’re excited about these speakers. So I hope that you’ll come.
The next talk in — will be in January in the new year on Thursday, January 6th, in this same time slot. And that will be Karl Groves who is from Tenon, and he’ll be talking about accessibility overlays, and examining the distance between fantasy and reality. What do they say they can do, and what do they actually do? And he’s done a lot of research on this, so he has real data to back up his presentation. So if you’re curious about accessibility overlays, or you want more information to share internally at your organization or with clients, this will also be a great talk.
Um, yes. And Glen noted that Tenon — Karl announced yesterday or the day before on Twitter, was acquired by Level Access. I’m not certain if they got rid of the company name, though, so I don’t know — ’cause Karl didn’t message us about updating to say that he’s from Level Access now. And — I might need to spotlight a different interpreter. Give me one second. Okay. I think we have someone spotlighted. It’s a little bit easier to do when I’m not also talking. The switching between.
Okay. So, now the main event, what everyone is really excited about. I am super excited to introduce Meryl Evans. I first met Meryl — potentially through WP Accessibility Day a couple of years ago. I can’t remember — or I saw her speak somewhere and I connected with her on LinkedIn, and I feel like I have learned so much from Meryl. She is a digital marketing pro, a speaker, she is an accessibility expert that does accessibility consulting. And she also is the co-author of Adapting Web Standards: CSS and Ajax for Big Sites. So, she has done a lot of writing and if you are interested at all in accessibility or captioning, she also does great videos, so I’m very excited to have her here, sharing her expertise with us. Meryl, I’m going to put myself on mute, and remove my spotlight, and let you take over from here. Thank you so much for being here.
Meryl Evans: Thank you so much for having me, Amber. I’m going to start sharing my screen. Always an adventure to switch — because everything moves around. So, all right, my screen looks good? Can you see my PowerPoint?
Amber Hinds: Yes, sorry, I forgot I muted myself. Yes, we can see your PowerPoint.
Meryl Evans: No problem. Howdy, y’all! Before we start, please be aware that there are a lot of visuals. If anything isn’t clear, or if you would like more information, please contact me, reach out to me, and I would be happy to walk you through it. So if you haven’t already found it, you can turn on the captions. Just look for the CC button, because it will help make it easier to follow me. And, guess what, if the captions get in the way, you can move them. You can just drag and drop them anywhere. And then, audio descriptions are also very important but it’s a different ballgame so I won’t be going into that. But, please do learn about it. So I’m Meryl, and my pronouns are she/her/deaf. I am a member of Generation X and a native Texan, with medium black curly hair, pale skin, glasses and a black sweater.
Yes, that cute toddler in the image is me with my dad from a few decades ago — give or take. When I wore a vintage hearing aid on my chest, and cords that connect my ear pieces to the hearing aid. I was born hearing-free, A.K.A. profoundly Deaf. Here is something that was a surprise to both of you who never met me. The most common assumption people make about me, including accessibility pros, and one U.S. Vice President, who shall remain nameless — they all assumed I knew sign language. I don’t. That is neither a good thing or a bad thing. There is no right or wrong. It just is. Like Autism is a spectrum, Deafness is a spectrum. I can only speak for my own experience.
When you meet one Deaf person you have met one Deaf person. I rely primarily on my bionic ear, which sounds a lot clearer than a cochlear implant. In my day job, when I am not being an accessibility consultant, I — when I am not an accessibility and caption pusher, I am an accessibility consultant, and I have been using WordPress version 0.7. Did you know that once upon a time you needed a secret decoder to watch captions.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t so secret, because it was definitely not portable. The caption decoder was a clunky thing that sat by the TV. Ignore the dials. The only button that mattered was turning it off and on. Boy, have we come a long way since 1983! Now we don’t need any special equipment to view captions. We can watch captions wherever we go — whether it’s a hotel, a friend’s house, or on a device. How cool is that? Here’s the agenda for our time together. You know captions don’t just magically appear. And y’all probably agree with me that automatic captions don’t count. So, we’ll dig into how captions work. You have options for captioning your videos. We’ll cover those as well.
And how to post the videos on WordPress. And finally, many people complain that captions suck. Following these steps will ensure people love yours. Captions don’t magically show up by themselves after creating a video. They typically require two things: the video, and the text file with the captions. Even if you use YouTube’s automatic captions, it usually creates a caption text file. You can download it and use it. The formats that you and I will probably use are SRT and VTT. But there are tons of formats. The captions are in a text file that you can open in a text editor.
My career as a magician was a non-starter because I give away secrets. The magic happens in the timecodes. They tell the captions when to appear and disappear. When you play the video that you uses the caption file, it’s called closed captions. Since this is a text file, search engines can read it. That’s how you get the benefit of SEO with closed captions. You have many options for adding captions to a video. I am sharing a short example to show you the general process of captioning a video. This uses YouTube because it’s free and most people have an account.
Two points. The length of the captions matter. More on that shortly. Second, at the end, when I selected “download the video,” I could download the SRT, VTT or SBV. SBV is short for SubView. It’s YouTube’s caption format that is similar to SRT. Next is what is in the SRT file that I downloaded from YouTube at the end of this video. SRT is short for SubRip Subtitle file.
LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and many other platforms accept it. You will see it has sequence numbers, followed by a timecode, and then the caption. The caption shows up when the video hits the first timecode, and goes away when the video reaches the second timecode. Let’s check out another format. This is a VTT file. It is modeled after the SRT, but it takes captions a step further by allowing you to format the text, control the positioning and other things.
This is the same text in the previous example, except it doesn’t have sequence numbers, just the timecode that shows start and the end time for each caption. For those who are brave enough, you can style VTT captions with the CSS. But it’s best to leave it to the default caption styles. The only thing that you may want to control is the placement of the captions to avoid overlapping with the on-screen text. When it comes to posting videos on WordPress, two things to keep in mind: one, is to have player controls. Skip the auto play. It creates a better user experience when the user can control the video and sound. The second part is, of course, captioning your video. Here’s the easy way. Only two steps! Copy the video’s URL. Paste it into WordPress, and ta-da! This works for YouTube, Vimeo, VideoPress and Daily Motion.
The advantage of the easy way besides being, well, easy — your website’s server may have a file upload limit and may not be optimized for serving videos. While it means that we have to depend on the video website not going down, it takes some of the stress off of the website. If you added the captions on YouTube or Vimeo, they’ll show up on your WordPress website. Now let’s look at a fancy way to do this. Zsolt just posted in the chat, “Can you compare — Hi Meryl, can you compare amara.org and youtube.com? Amara seems even more simple. If I remember right, I think that I used Amara for captioning a WordPress video, and I was having a lot of problems with it.
So I find that YouTube is easier, but Amara might be easier for some people. I’ll talk about how to use the captions shortly. The fancy way has only two steps — upload the two files and add the HTML. The CSS part is optional, and I just skip it. Let’s take a look at an example of how to do this in WordPress. The code to add a video and caption file to WordPress is simple enough. Or so I thought. This is the code you enter on the WordPress page. The first time I posted it, the captions worked only on Firefox.
After a lot of fiddling, it worked on Chrome, but not the others. Two browsers. You would think that by now it would work everywhere, but that’s not the case. Anyway, the first time — to ensure that it works in Edge, I needed to add the meta attribute in the header. You want to make sure your website always uses HTTPS security encryption, otherwise, the captions won’t work in some browsers. You can have multiple tracks for providing captions in other languages. This example is available on my website and I’m going to put the URL into the chat. It’s http://meryl.net/webvtt.
Unfortunately, like with browsers, captions won’t look the same on all devices. I watched a movie on Amazon Prime on TV. Whenever a song came on, the captions showed hashtags instead of musical notes. Here’s the twist. I wanted to capture that annoyance. I played the movie on my desktop. This time, it had musical notes. Captions are not consistent across platforms. Test them. What is the diff — what are the differences between open and closed captions? Recall that caption text file we covered — closed captions use that text file. It gives the viewer almost complete control. They can turn the captions on and off. They can sometimes change how the captions look. Not all platforms allow you to format the captions.
I mentioned SEO earlier. This is what I’m talking about. Search engines can read the caption text file, which is why closed captions help SEO. Closed captions require uploading two files, which has two problems. First, it can be complicated for some users. Second, some websites and platforms don’t allow you to upload anything but a video file. This is especially true for social networks on mobile devices. For example, on Twitter, if you go on your desktop, you can upload a caption file. But if you’re on your mobile device, Twitter’s app won’t let you upload a caption file. So you need to use open captions. And it makes perfect sense — most of us are not going to have a caption file on our phone.
The text file makes it easier to do translations. Depending on the text file type, you have some control over the placement of the captions like with VTT. Think of captions — closed captions like responsive websites. The captions move, and grow, and shrink based on how you interact with the player controls or resize the screen. If you turn your phone sideways, the video gets larger and so do the captions. Interactive captions refer to two things. One is the ability to move the captions. Just like you can drag and drop the captions right here on Zoom, and on YouTube. Anytime that a YouTube video has captions, it will have an interactive transcript. This means that you can select a line on the transcript and the video will jump to that place.
As for open captions, they always show up. You cannot turn them off and on. Some people don’t like that because it affects their viewing experience. But you only have to upload one file and you don’t have to worry about whether the captions show up. But the captions turn into an image. Thus, the search engines can’t read it like they can with a text file. And no matter what size the screen size is, open captions never change size. Viewers cannot change the formatting. If they don’t like the font or the background color, they’re stuck.
Open captions give the creator complete control over the format and the placement of the captions. However, many creators don’t know captioning best practices, and don’t make accessible captioning decisions. Next up — what are your options for getting a video captioned?
First of all, I didn’t say that bad word in the video caption. Blame autocraptions. You have three options for captions. You can do it yourself with tools. Use a company that offers captioning services. Or find a tool that automatically captions the video, and edit those videos which I will show you next. I’m sorry — edit those captions. The list of captioning tools is long. My caption guide has a long list, and if you go to it you can see there’s many, many options. So what’s the best tool? You’ll hate my answer. It depends. It depends on your processes and preferences. Let’s see, Dave has a question. “Why are these called ‘open’ and ‘closed’ captions, rather than ‘user controllable captions’?” I’ll tell you two things that seem to make sense. The reason is because — open, they’re always there. You can’t turn them off, you can’t do anything, they’re always visible.
And then closed has the — like you said, customizable, so, turn them off and on. And, when
I first got my caption decoder in 1983, they called it closed captions, and I guess it stuck. And open captions has become a thing — well, actually it was for a foreign film, but the official reason — I don’t know. But that’s my guess. The problem with autocraptions. Would you publish an article on your website if it had typos and other errors? Well, then, would you publish captions on your website if it has typos and other errors? That’s what automatic captions are. And why I call them autocraptions.
Conversation happens quickly. It only takes one wrong word, one wrong letter in a caption to confuse the viewer. Before the caption viewer can decipher the wrong captions, the captions move on to the next line. Here are six reasons why automatic captions are a big problem. They don’t make sense. A line of a song has one wrong word and a missing letter. It was enough to change the meaning of the line. Before I could decipher it, the lyrics moved on. Captions are embarrassing. Autocraptions give wrong information. In a video, the auto captions said to boil on high for 45 minutes, and preheat the oven. What the audio said was to broil on high for four to five minutes, and don’t preheat the oven! That’ll be one burned item.
They hurt your brand. Accessibility supporters are passionate, and will boycott brands. If I see bad captions I will find something else to watch. The company didn’t think it was worth fixing the captions, and I don’t think it’s worth watching them. And, finally, automatic captions are not equitable. Harvard and MIT got sued for their lack of captions. They argued they had captions, referring to the automatic captions. Both settled the lawsuit and agreed to accurately caption their videos.
And here’s an example of why automatic captions are embarrassing. I bet you’ve seen some embarrassing screenshots of bad captions. The Daily Mail shared this from a New Zealand talk show that showed up all over Twitter. I can’t begin to read the captions out loud because it’s that embarrassing. Hilary Barry, the TV host speaking the line, retweeted the picture and wrote: “Salmon! I love salmon!” Do you want your company or brand to be featured on Twitter like this? Here’s a quick clip using an app to automatically caption the video, and then cleaning it up.
Meryl Evans [on video]: We’re going to automatically caption a video and then edit it. First, upload the file. Then, stand by to let the app do its magic. It’ll take a few minutes depending on the length of the video. After it’s done, open it to edit it. [Sound from video]. This is not a good caption style. Let’s change that. Much better. The autocraptions need work. Through the magic of editing, it’s done in seconds. [Sound from video]. At this point, I start playing with the timings, and I’ll fix the length, as the captions are too long. When you’re happy, download the file.
Meryl Evans: Now that you know how to caption a video, is your work done? Of course not. Captioning audio is only part of the formula for great captions. Quality is the other half. Quality means more accessible. The reason why great captions are boring is because they let the video be the star. They don’t fight for the spotlight, or distract you from the video. If I notice the captions, it’s a sign they’re not good. The best captioning guidelines come from Described and Captioned Media Program’s Captioning Key. And I just pasted the link into the chat box. Dcmp.org/learn/captioningkey.
So clear and easy to understand. FCC has captioning rules. WCAG has captions in its criterion. The caption10 is based on my experience as someone who depends on quality captions. I wanted to provide a simple way to capture caption best practices with these 10 rules. If a captioned video follows these, then the captions will most likely be optimized. If you’re like me, you learn from example. So the number one rule of great captions — and this shows you why.
One side contains great captions, and the other, painful captions. One thing to note is that the right side has many different captions. Consistency is important, and I wanted to show you actual examples of captions. Here we go.
Meryl Evans [on video]: The most important rule of great captions is readability. When people can’t read the captions, none of the other rules matter. So, make sure your captions, the text, stand out from the background, the scene, and any distractions. When you post your video, be sure to add #Captioned so we can find it.
Meryl Evans: Readability has four components. Size, color, font and background, the color behind the text. Captions without a background are hard to read. When I was looking for exercise videos, I found captioned videos from two companies. Peloton won me over because they were readable. Just a quick example of the problem with readability. When you have — this has a serious readability issue, because the captions get lost with the on-screen text and plus they’re transparent. So it’s very hard to make them out. For many of us, this may look like good contrast. I’m waiting for the ASL interpreters to switch. But this fails every single contrast test. The size takes up almost half of the screen and takes away from the action. Check this one out.
Meryl Evans [on video]: Hey, y’all! Meryl Evans digital marketing pro here to create a video, so I can show you how to caption it. It will be interesting to see how and the automatic captions are for this video. I call them autocraptions because they’re riddled with mistakes. And they never, ever get my first and last name right. Autocraptions don’t like my accent very much. It’s not a British accent, or a French accent. Rather, I have a deaf accent because I was born hearing-free. This video should be long enough now to do the trick. Thanks for coming and captioning your videos.
Meryl Evans: Autocraptions are good for a few laughs, but they’re not so funny when you’re trying to watch a video or a webinar. I often quit watching videos when the captions aren’t accurate. It turns out many others do too. This is why autocraptions are not always better than no captions.
Meryl Evans [on video]: One of the rules of great captions is synchronized. This means the captions follow the action on the screen. What is heard. What is said. Yes, we can tell when the captions are out of sync. Even with the sound off and it’s dizzying. Make sure your captions follow the action on the screen.
Meryl Evans: I’m going to show you an example — oh. May is asking “any chance of more timely/immediate postings to the transcript? Currently, 20-30 seconds after live, which is harder to connect.” I’m not clear on what you’re asking, so I will continue. If you could save the question for the end or offline, I would love to be able to answer it.
Amber Hinds: Meryl, I think they might have been asking related to our live captions right now. And I am not certain what we can do about the Zoom transcripts. So that will be something I may have to look into and follow-up and see if we can improve for next time. So, please feel free to reach out to me. I’m not sure if that’s Mark. Or May. And we can see what we can improve for the future.
Meryl Evans: Thank you, Amber. Here’s a video, a very short clip of a out of sync video.
-Have the best honeymoon ever!
-Ah, thank God, four hours until she’s on a plane and out of my hair.
-Where are they going?
-Grand tour of Italy.
-Yup, now that she’s married, she can eat all the pasta she wants.
-Want to dance?
-I do. Come on.
Meryl Evans: Okay, that was enough. It’s dizzying, right? This happened more than once on the “Kids baking championship.” You know reality shows love to draw things out to increase suspense. Pay attention to the captions and the audio to see what went wrong. Feel free to put it in the chat box if you have figured it out.
-Unfortunately, the baker leaving us today is Namiah. I’m so sorry Namiah.
Meryl Evans: Did you figure it out? Caption viewers find out who’s leaving a whole eight seconds before the audio. Exactly, Destiny said, “caption spoilers.” Exactly. But, here is an example of suspense done right. They — The Bachelor dragged it so long that I had to cut part of it. And notice how they describe music two ways.
-Ladies. It’s the final rose tonight.
-When you’re ready.
Meryl Evans: Dave has a question. “Do you prefer two lines of captions with less time on the screen, or three lines with more time on the screen?” I always recommend one to two lines. You could get away with three, it just depends, but network TV and streaming videos always have one to two lines. And timing is a tricky thing. We’ll keep going and I’ll talk about the lines, the length. Right now.
Meryl Evans [on video]: Hey, y’all! Meryl Evans here with a captions tip. [Softly] Yes, size matters. [Louder] Really, really matters in great captions. You want to avoid having captions go one or two words at a time…so fast that even the fastest readers can’t keep up or absorb the information. You also want to avoid the captions going alllll the way across… multiple lines… I’ve seen some go three, four, five lines long. You’re so focused on reading that you miss the action on the screen. Goldilocks found the best answer and that’s the middle. Limit captions to one or two lines and aim for the middle of the screen. So, yes, size matters in great captions.
Meryl Evans: Remember the YouTube video where I shortened the lines? Length and bad breaking points are the most common problems I see in captions. Even I messed that up in my early days of captioning. Length is the difference between scanning and reading. Short lines make it effortless to scan the captions and watch the video. Long lines force you to read. It’s not instant. You’re reading more, so you miss more of the video.
Videos often break these rules. More than two lines makes it hard not to lose your place in reading captions. Aim for one to two lines, about 32 characters per line. For line breaking points, Captioning Key has good examples. The biggest one is not to start and end a sentence in one line of captions like in this photo. As for alignment, the important thing is to keep it consistent for the entire video. I’m pasting the link to Captioning Key again. It’s the same one I posted earlier.
Meryl Evans [on video]: Do you prefer top or bottom position? In caption, of course! The majority of people prefer them on the bottom. There is no scientific research or data to prove this. For some reason, when you look at the bottom, you can see more of the video. Somehow, when captions are up top, it seems like we catch less of the video. It’s almost like our eyes tend to gravitate up rather than down.
Meryl Evans: So which did y’all prefer — top or bottom? I conducted multiple polls, and 99% picked the bottom. Oh — do not worry or adjust your volume, it won’t suddenly start working. The video has no sound to show you the importance of sound.
-[Music playing in Meryl’s head] And when you get the choice to sit it out or…
-Meryl Evans: I don’t know why that happened.
-[Music plays in Meryl’s head]
-Meryl Evans, off screen: I’m not interested. Thank you.
-Meryl Evans: I turned it off. It won’t happen again.
-[Music continues in Meryl’s head]
-Meryl Evans: How many interruptions will there be?
-Meryl Evans: Hopefully, that’s the last of it.
-Meryl Evans: Aww… Shh… It’s OK. Nobody’s there. Well…I can’t turn them off!
Amber Hinds: I’d thought to unmute for a second and say I’m not sure today if we have anyone who cannot see the video. Meryl, would you mind just briefly explaining what was in that video, in case anyone could not see it?
Meryl Evans: Thank you, thank you, Amber. Okay, so this video has two different clips — two separate side-by-side videos of the same thing. One side had captions for everything. All the sounds, and whatever I said. I turned the volume off to show the impact of it. And the other side only captioned my dialogue, what I said. It did not caption any of the sounds that happened.
So, when I showed up with a package — when the captions didn’t have sound, nobody would know why I had a package in my hand. But the version with the sound said the doorbell rang, so obviously there was a package at the door. And then another example was the phone rang and that’s why it took me away from my desk again. And then the final example was my dog started barking, and I was comforting them.
So I hope that explains it, and if you want more details, again, reach out to me. That’s what I was talking about at the beginning, I want you to have the full understanding of everything that went on. And Dave asks, “why do you have a big black space at the bottom of your captions? It almost looks like you have space for three lines of captions.” Well, part of it is the time on the progress bar, so it makes it look bigger. So, it’s just the format that I used for this one. And Glen says “that’s one of my favorite examples from Meryl. I love the bracketed sounds that explain what’s going on in the background.” And that’s exactly what this video shows.
Oh, you also want to note background silence or background music. It is very important. Or silence. One episode of a TV show went on and on and without captions. I didn’t have my bionic ear on, so I wondered were my captions messed up? Did the show not have captions? Or was there a song or a voice over?
Don’t leave viewers wondering if the captions are messed up. Sound often appears in brackets like in these two music examples. What happens when the sound shows [foreboding music] or [jaunty music]? It really sets the mood in two different ways. When it’s a song, identify the name of the song and singer, like, I have an example here, 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton intro playing, and then I have the lyrics to the song.
And, please don’t put lyrics in italics ,because they are hard for a lot of people to read. Keep it simple and use music notes. It’s readable and it puts music in your head. And the other point that I wanted to make is it’s descriptive yet concise in describing music and sounds, just like with alternative text — text alternatives for images. So there’s a video out there that’s very popular, that describes sounds in a very artsy way, and, even things that were not sounds, and that was exhausting, it just was too much. It was overload. If it was just an artsy video, that’s fine, but the speaker in the video made it sound like, “I want all captions to do this.” And it was really a lot.
At the start of a TV show, when introducing the stars, the captions and the credits or the chyron rarely overlap. And this goes to Cam’s question. In fact, many shows move the captions up temporarily, and then they bring them back down, or they move the credit up above the captions.
Meryl Evans [on video]: Meryl Evans here talking about credits and captions. They should never, ever fight for viewers’ attention. They want to see both. As an example, I’ll talk about what I do. I’m a digital marketing pro who works with marketing leaders on their projects and tasks. I may develop their social media marketing plan, manage it, or do social media ads. And finally, content marketing. Contact me when you need a marketing righthand gal. Actually…I’m left-handed. Left-hand gal.
Meryl Evans: Here’s a screenshot from “Kimmy Schmidt” where the lyrics are open — from the opening. The captions are up top with the music notes and the singer’s name. And then the show title is at the bottom. So they don’t overlap. Great example. And this one’s a bad example. “Law and Order” opening, we have captions on top of the special guest star’s name. And this is a big problem, and Hulu is notorious for doing this. Here’s another example where on-screen text has important information, but the captions cover it up. You want to see both without straining or having to turn off the captions, backing it up, looking at the credit, and then turning the captions back on.
Meryl Evans [on video]: The best way to explain it is by sharing these two clips in which one character claims she can do five ranges. You might want to turn off your sound for the full effect. Watch what happens.
-Woman 1 singing: [tenor range] United, [alto range] United, [soprano range] United, [super-soprano range] United
-Woman 2: Yeah, I counted four.
-Woman 1: [hoarsely] Oh, no. Vo – gone. Vo- duh.
-Woman 2: What? What are you saying?
Meryl Evans [on video]: See what a difference captions make to someone watching it without sound? I’ve seen captions that reveal a character imitating a person or something else like in this clip.
-Man rapping: [As Eminem] The itsy-bitsy spider went up the water spout. Down came the rain and washed the spider out, aha. Out came the sun and dried up all the rain. The itsy-bitsy spider went up the spout again.
-Sofia Vergara: Eminem.
-Man rapping: [As Snoop Dogg} Yeah, uh, yeah, okay. Patty cake, patty cake, baker’s man.
-Howie Mandel: Snoop.
Meryl Evans [on video]: A voice changes for a reason. And viewers need to know when this happens. So caption those voice changes to keep everyone in the loop.
Meryl Evans: And last time that singer showed on “America’s Got Talent,” it was a lousy experience. That time the captions did not show the voice changes. I can’t tell Eminem from Snoop based on those voices alone. But add them in the captions, and I am instantly impressed with the performer. Dave asks “do you prefer exact word-for-word captions, or captions that contain all of the meaning with fewer words? Please explain your reasons.” Word-for-word. I can judge for myself. I want to know exactly what is being said. The person that is doing the captions and summarizing words may not note the full effect. So, anytime I ask this question to anybody who depends on captions, we all say the same thing — word-for-word. There might be exceptions, but if you do the classroom setting, that’s a different type of — it’s not exactly captions, there’s another name for it, but it’s more like notetaking, because word-for-word would be a lot. I don’t — I wouldn’t want a whole Professor’s lecture word-for-word, I’d rather have a whole summary of everything that he talked about.
And then May asked — or said, captions were a discussion point at a recent NAD, which is the National Association for the Deaf, meeting and the need for quality captions and not just autocraptions. And she spelled out National Association of the Deaf. And interestingly enough, in about an hour, the FCC is having a online meeting about captions and quality. But get this. The meeting is two hours and 45 minutes long. I do not plan to go to that, that’s just way too much. They will have a recording of it available if anyone is interested. I don’t have the link on me right now, but if you’re interested, contact me.
And then May added “NAD suggested for everyone to file a complaint with the FCC for no or poor captions.” And I agree. But the reality is people are not going to do that because it’s a lot of work. And there’s a lot of bad captions out there. I’m just going to have a scene from “Lily and Dash.” They have a voiceover, and what was interesting, in the first picture, it showed the “woman” in brackets, it’s a woman’s voice, “Imagine that.” And then the second screenshot shows “[man] It’s the most detestable time of the year.” So the voice changed, it was different people, and you don’t know this because it’s a voiceover — nobody’s face is on the screen. And it made a big difference.
Here the caption let us know the character whispered. Otherwise, viewers may be wondering why the patient isn’t panicking in overhearing the conversation. Imagine you are a patient and you hear the nurse say “you forgot to look into his heart, doctor.” But we know she said it quietly so she could not be overheard.
Oh, Patricia Chadwick brought up a good point. “Just to clarify about word-for-word, should ‘Um, uh, yeah, ya know, okay’ be included?” No, they do not. Thank you for bringing that up. That’s important. This is especially true in webinars and business videos, but on TV, like for fiction, yes, you want that because that can happen very often and it usually gives you a clue in someone’s personality or how somebody’s feeling — they might be nervous, or stuttering, or struggling.
So, in non-fiction videos and businesses, please cut those out because it makes it easier to follow. And then Dave says, “comparing word-for-word captions to captions that contain all of the meaning with fewer words, why aren’t captions with fewer words more accessible since they allow the Deaf to spend closer to the same amount of time as a hearing person looking at the non-captioned part of the video?”
That’s an interesting point, Dave. I couldn’t answer, because, like I mentioned before, we’re a spectrum ,and some people might agree with you, but I’ve been watching captions since 1983, and I’m a lot happier when it’s word-for-word. It doesn’t affect my experience. I feel like I’m getting the full experience. Very rarely do I ever have to back up because I missed something. Usually when I do that, it’s because of the bad captions, not because it was word-for-word. And Patricia chatted saying “thanks, that makes sense,” and referencing my answer to her previous question.
Meryl Evans [on video]: There are times when It’s not clear who is speaking on a video. Sometimes the speaker isn’t on screen or two people speak and the captions show dialog from both in one shot. Here are two different ways the captions show this. The first clip uses a person’s name. Take a look
-Man 1: Wait! How do we know it’s not the bear?
-Mitchell: It’s me! You just left me!
-Man 2: Oh, you weren’t out there that long. You didn’t get the food?!
-Mitchell: I almost was food! Okay. I-I wish I never even came on this stupid trip!
-Man 2: Well who forced you?
Meryl Evans [on video]: This next example puts captions underneath the speaker.
-Man 1: Pair of 7s
-Man 2: Ace high
-Man 3: Everyone, I’d like you to meet Don Lemon and RuPaul, a pair of black queens.
-Man 2: Mitchell, that’s the third time you’ve wandered over there. What are you doing?
-Mitchell: [Muffle] Nothing.
-Man 3: He’s got something in his mouth.
Meryl Evans [on video]: Letting viewers know who speaks the line is important.
Meryl Evans: Thank you, May. She just posted the link to the FCC event on captioning today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time. And the link is really long so I’m not going to read it out. Hopefully you will be able to click on it and get there. The video showed us three examples for identifying a speaker to let us know who says what. They use brackets, a person’s name in brackets. They used dashes. When two different people speak. And then captions under the speaker.
Here’s the last one of the Caption10. This session is a live event. Most live events use scrolling captions, and that’s what you’ll see right now if you have the captions on. So it can’t always be avoided, however, I have seen scrolling captions in recorded videos that were not live. Pop-in is easier on the eyes, less distracting and most importantly, lets people read at their own pace. These two videos are not in sync. It was a challenge to make this.
Meryl Evans [on video]: Hey, y’all! Meryl Evans here talking about the difference between scrolling captions and pop-in captions. Many people prefer pop-in captions because it lets people read at their own pace. The movement from the scrolling captions is distracting. And takes away from the action on the screen. Thanks for watching and captioning.
Meryl Evans: Zsolt asked, “how can you position the caption? Caption file is only text.” VTTs can position captions and I just posted a link, again, to my webVTT example. Where I show the moving captions. I would not follow that example because it’s not good placement, but there are ways to do it to where you can put them where you want them to go. You’re welcome, Zsolt. So we’ve covered the 10 best practices for accessible captions. Here’s a recap of what they include — readability. Accuracy. Sync. Length. Position. Sound. Credit/chyron. Voice. Speaker. And flow. Now let’s put together everything we’ve learned. This recorded episode of “The Good Doctor” has scrolling captions and it was a terrible experience, as the right side will show. I found another version on a streaming network, and it was much better. See if you can spot the differences.
-Woman: It’s a girl. We’re having a girl!
-Man: Would you like to paint the nursery pink?
-Woman: No. This isn’t the 50’s. [Chuckles] Oh! [Giggles].
-Woman: [laughs]. Okay.
-Man: I will see you in class.
-Woman: Okay. Okay.[Laughs]
Meryl Evans: The scrolling captions had a significant delay. All caps and no captions for sound. Don’t the little things make a huge difference? They help prevent cognitive overload. And Dave asks “is there any video platform that allows turning on and off audio descriptions for the blind in a video?” And May answered, “YouTube now has the option to also upload an A.D. file.” She — May is correct. And Dave, yes — most streaming networks, like Netflix, now have the ability to turn it on and off. NBC, they had audio descriptions for the entire Olympics and Paralympics.
So it is possible to do that. And the Thanksgiving Macy’s parade, for the first time this year, had audio description on a separate channel. So, yes, and there are some places where you can turn it off and on, while you have to tune into a different channel — it depends. I believe it’s the American Federation of the Blind, they have a resource page on audio descriptions, where to get it, how to turn it on and all that, I recommend that you look for that for more details.
You worked hard to add captions to your videos. Don’t let those efforts go to waste with bad quality captions. And test captions with someone who relies on them, who depends on them. Turning off the sound won’t give you the same experience as someone who depends on them every day. Again, adding captions to your video is only half of the equation for accessible captions. The other half is quality. I hope that these video examples have provided evidence for why quality captions matter. May added that there is an audio description project that is creating a database of which titles have ADs. Thank you. And there’s also a website of volunteers who will add ADs to a video, I believe. I can’t remember — on the top of my head. And Cam reports, “apparently audio descriptions for Netflix’s Daredevil is fantastic.” That’s great to know, Cam. Thank you.
So what can we do to get more captioned videos out there? Besides captioning videos, here are some action items you can take. If you see a video that should be captioned — ask. Many companies will oblige. Oh, thank you, Daniel, it is youdescribe.com. And Virginia Lui says, “does anyone know any software or companies that do live captions translations?” There are some that do, but I can’t think off the top of my head who’s out there exactly. I mean —
Amber Hinds: I could —
Meryl Evans: I just shared a link to Meryl.net/captions, and it’ll have apps and links to services, so you should be able to look them up and see if they do that. And Dave said “do you like emojis in your captions, like this” and he has clapping hands three times. Dave, interestingly enough, I — in my early days of captions, I decided to have fun with emojis, and snuck them in there, but after a while it gets old. And it’s better not to put them there, and let the words stand for themselves. If you see a captioned video, leave a comment thanking the creator for captions and encourage them to use #captioned to expand their video’s reach or to thank them if they use the hashtag.
Next time you put your video online, please use the hashtag #captioned. It’s a unique hashtag because it doesn’t tell you the topic of the video, but rather that the videos has captions. If you use #captions with an “s,” it can also refer to “here’s a picture, caption this.” So that’s why we use “e-d.” One of the biggest barriers to captions is not knowing what to do. Share a caption and how-to resources and guides. Thank you, Cam. He says, “Meryl you also suggest we use #captioned on LinkedIn as well. Now I use it all the time.” Mostafa says, “guys, let me mention again, Mozilla Common Voices project on my system. I have made a live TTS for Persian language. Semi-live TTS is possible with this.” Thank you, Mostafa.
And, Cam, yes I love it when I go to LinkedIn and I click #captioned hashtag and I see lots of videos, and they’re all captioned. Or, an event announcement for a webinar that will be captioned, and it’s just so cool to scroll and to know everything’s going to be accessible to me. No more pushing — play, will this have captions? Play. And then I stop it quickly, within three seconds, because I don’t want them to get the viewer count. I’m kidding. Alright. So, bake captions into your processes. And this has six different kinds of cookies in the picture. And just like editing is part of the writing process, therefore every video caption should be added, edited, and verified as part of the video production process. And Mostafa says, “using free/Libre software for disabled people is crucial. Let’s not tie disabled life with corporates’ profit-making aims. We deserve more than just being a consumer.” Thank you, Mostafa.
Feel free to connect with me and send me your questions, and you can find everything out. Meryl.net/captions You can connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I just put it into the box. And on Twitter, it’s @MerylKEvans. I want to send a Texas-sized yeehaw, and thank you to Amber and the WordPress Accessibility Meetup team, and Emma. The sponsors, Leon Stafford, and Empire Caption Solutions. The captioners for captioning
this challenging accent. The sign language interpreters for interpreting, and to you, for your time, for captioning your videos, and for encouraging others to caption. And then May says, “suggest that even as you go to any event, still ask for them at every event that you attend; be an ally!” I’m into that. Every bit helps. The more people who ask for it, the more the organizers will realize it’s not just one or two people that want it — it’s a lot. So, yes, and always ask for captions when you see videos out there on Twitter without them. What’s annoying are the ones that talk about diversity, inclusion, or accessibility, and are not captioned. The most offensive one just happened a couple days ago. A guy was outside of a school for the Deaf and Blind, and his video did not contain captions. Thank you, Amber. I’ll hand it over to you.
Amber Hinds: Yeah, thank you. Do you mind stopping sharing your screen because then our interpreter will be a little bigger, just for the final end. This has been fabulous. It’s so great. Every time you speak, I learn something new. So I really appreciate it. Does anyone else have any other questions for Meryl or comments or anything they’d like to add? Feel free to ask those. I was going to ask one question that came up for me because you demoed — I don’t know if, I’m trying to remember if the software was called Subly? For doing the auto transcription and then editing captions. Is that your recommended, or do you — have you tried a lot of those different ones and do you have thoughts on the accuracy?
Meryl Evans: No, I was just using that as an example. I just made the video. Personally me — I use YouTube. Because none of the automatic caption tools are good enough with my accent. Or rather, my accent is not good enough for them. So that’s why I cannot recommend any software. For example, maybe you work in a company that uses Adobe software. Adobe has captions built in. You might as well try that first. And some people may have speech-to-text that knows their speech well. That will make a great captioning tool. So this is why — and some people might be captioning videos on their phone. Not on their desktop. And that’s a different experience. So that would require a different kind of software than somebody who’s doing it on their computer. And Mostafa please do — Mostafa has some suggestions on there, so please do share. Do you want to come — with the microphone or do you want to type? Let us know what you prefer. And, Daniel, thank you for the compliments.
Amber Hinds: Yeah, I will say one thing that we noticed when we were doing ours — now we have our wonderful sponsor, Empire Captions is going to help us with our transcripts afterwards. But we tried software that you would import the video and then it would auto do it, but it wouldn’t actually have the video, it would just keep the audio file for you. And we found that really challenging. I think Emma had to hop off for something, but she was doing it and we were talking about it and I know she told me it’s really hard because sometimes it didn’t get it right and she’s trying to listen and hear what the person’s saying, and it’s really, like, it would be easier for her if she could see the video. So that was one thing that we determined was whatever sort of auto transcribing system you use, it has to keep the video, too, it can’t just have an audio file for your to play and listen to for accuracy. There you are.
Emma: Yeah, especially if there were like, dev terms, because I’m not a developer. So, yeah, especially if there were code focused talks, that was more difficult for me to figure out.
Meryl Evans: So Mostafa just answered — use Kdenlive video editing software. It has auto caption generation, which not only generates SRT captions, but also sync it with video and easily one can adjust and edit. And then Dave adds an interesting questions, has anyone made an artificial neural network to convert autocraptions into something closer to normal English? I’m not aware of anything. So if anybody in the audience knows, I would love to hear about this. Zslot says “This was great! Thanks.” You’re welcome. And Mostafa said, “yes.” In reference to this previous — “VOSK.” What is that?
Amber Hinds: I’m guessing maybe that is a platform —
Mostafa: May I — may I explain just — because it is, like, it is hard to just type. Just the simply, like, — oh, because — wait — I may be dark here.
Amber Hinds: If you want, you don’t have to start your video, if you want, I will let you.
Mostafa: Okay, it’s not giving me an option item. So, just the point is — I’m suggesting, like — what I’m suggesting is free software that is open source. Basically — there are technical things to do, but the easiest thing is to install KDenlive video editing. It’s a free software. It doesn’t have a version for MacOS, but for windows and the Linux system you can install it. You can just check, it has some auto subtitle generation, that, f you activate it, then you can just get some model, like some model, like train, for 17 languages, of course, English is there, Persian language is also there. I have tested already for Persian, which is much, much smaller as compared to what they have it for English. So just, like, import that, that model. And then just, like, it’s just a click. You just, like, sit and wait. It generates the subtitle which is like auto generated — like voice recognition, and it’s very much Iike video editing. So you don’t need to go manually. just change dates, like time frames. You don’t need to do that. Visually you can just adjust timing and edit the text. And I have used it, it is really good. It is really user-friendly and there’s no technical things. So I think that it’s a good start. But, yeah — so — sorry, if I didn’t explain properly or clearly.
Amber Hinds: I think that makes sense. Yeah, and May added “VOSK is a speech recognition toolkit.” So for extra context. And it sounds like it’s open source. So it might be worth us all going and trying out.
Mostafa: Yeah, it is open source so for providing some services to fix some problem — especially for disabled people — we don’t need to rely on some company. So it’s corporated, it has some patents, let’s say, so tomorrow, maybe they say, “Oh, we decided to stop our service,” so anytime that we can use it, we can make it even better and better.
Amber Hinds: Cool. Well, thank you for sharing that with us. I think twe’re almost to the end of our time. So I want to thank everyone again for coming. And a quick reminder that our next event is going to be on the first Monday of the month, which is — or — sorry — not the first Monday — the third Monday. So it’ll be Monday, December 20th. And it is our evening Meetup. So it is at 5pm Pacific, 7pm Central in the U.S. And, it’s going to be a screen reader test, with feedback, for FacetWP WordPress plugin. So I hope to see everyone there.
Thanks again, Meryl. Please feel free to reach out to us or reach out to Meryl if you have any follow-up questions. Have a great day!