WebCasting: Closed Captioning/ADA Compliance
Live Streaming Video Needs Captions
ADA Compliance is an important designation that means a company’s services meet the regulations outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Section 504 of the closely related Rehabilitation Act makes accessibility for individuals with disabilities a civil right. To protect that right, Title III of the ADA requires that public facilities provide access to verbal information on televisions, films or slide shows.
Federal laws in the United States, like FCC, CVAA, and ADA, require producers and distributors of video content to caption. Live broadcast content must also be captioned. Under the CVAA, any content that was previously published on television must be captioned when published online. This also applies to video clips and montages.
Streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, must caption all content that was previously aired on television.Title III of the ADA relates to private entities.
Under the ADA, online streaming companies must also caption original content, even if it never appeared on television.
These are the FCC’s quality standards for television captioning, which set the precedent for online video captioning as a whole:
- Accuracy: Captions must relay the speaker’s exact words with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar with 99% accuracy. No paraphrasing. Honor the original tone and intent of the speaker.
- Time Synchronization: Captions must align with the time the words are spoken. Captions must not proceed too quickly for the viewer to read.
- Program Completeness: Captions must be included from start to finish.
- Placement: Captions must be positioned on the screen without blocking important content. Font size should be reasonably legible.
The term “Closed Captioning” means that captions aren’t visible until specifically activated by the viewer. “Open Captioning”, on the other hand, means that the captions are visible to viewers at all times. During a live video stream, captions can be embedded into the stream by using an encoder.