Closed Captioning Checklist
Closed captions may be legally required in order for videos to be accessible for users who are deaf or hard of hearing. However, it is best practice to include closed captions any time you are creating a video because they are beneficial to all viewers. Many students use closed captions when learning vocabulary and comprehension, as well as for viewing in sound-sensitive environments. The University of Maryland's media management system, Panopto, can provide your video with machine-generated closed captions. Instructions for enabling and editing automated captions can be found in the article, Panopto Automatic Machine Captioning.
Use the following checklist to edit and improve the captioning of your videos to benefit all viewers.
- Print and use this checklist to ensure that your captioning program is in compliance.
- Matches the spoken words in the dialogue in their original language to the fullest extent possible and includes full lyrics when provided on the audio track.
- Contains all words in spoken order.
- Uses proper spelling, homophones, tense, punctuation, capitalization, and the proper representation of numbers.
- Does not rewrite or paraphrase dialogue.
- Does not use synonyms to replace actual dialogue.
- Represents speaker tone of voice where necessary to understand the dialogue.
- Uses slang and grammatical errors as part of the dialogue where necessary to properly represent the dialog.
- Indicates utterances and false starts where necessary to accurately mirror the hearing person's experience.
- Includes nonverbal information that is not observable, such as who is speaking, multiple speakers, music sound tags, sound effects, audience reaction, and background noise.
- Coincides with the corresponding dialogue as closely as possible.
- Paces and synchronizes at a speed that is legible by the viewer.
- Occurs from beginning to end of the program without interruption, to the fullest extent possible. (This is required for fully accessible status.)
- Re-editing of content requires re-editing of captions.
- Has a font size appropriate for legibility.
- Placement and size provide for easy readability for both the caption content and screen content.
Adapted from Cielo24: Updated WCAG 2.0 for Video Accessibility, 2017.
For more information, view the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.