Accessible Videos


How can someone with a hearing impairment watch videos, such as those on YouTube and Yahoo?. The answer is 'Captioning'.

Captions are written descriptions of visual events or speech. Captions permit objects with audio to be "heard" and understood by those who cannot hear the audio. Captioning was primarily intended for those who are hearing impaired but has also been very helpful for those who have normal hearing by visually reinforcing the information. Captioning variants include closed or open captioning, as used in TV's and DVD's respectively. There are also transcriptions, which are descriptive written records of the media and are usually separate from the element itself. Transcribing your media can help all users allowing for indexing and searching. (Text source: Accessibility).

Watch an example of a 'captioned video':



Kirin uses EasyYouTube to watch videos

EasyYouTube screenshot

Tools and Resources for Captioning


  • MAGpie - Video captioning

  • Overstream - Video captioning. Millions of videos are currently being shared on the Internet and until recently, users couldn't modify the presentation of the videos without modifying the videos themselves. Overstream allows you add captions to existing videos, even if they are on someone else's website. You could even use this resource to provide translations to videos in any language. Read more about it . . .

    Example YouTube video (David Hasselhoff), Overstreamed with Spanish captions.

    Some useful facts from Overstream (taken from their FAQ):

    FAQ - What is required of my browser for Overstream to work?
    Both javascript and cookies need to be enabled in your browser in order for this website to work as intended. Also, the Overstream Editor and Player require Flash Player version 8 or above to be installed. (Note for Linux users: install the Flash 9 Player for Linux.)

    FAQ - Which languages are supported by Overstream for use in subtitles?
    Overstream supports all languages. (The technical explanation is that UTF-8 encoding is used everywhere on the site.) However, in order to work, the language must be installed on the viewer's computer. If you write your overstream in Japanese, only those viewers who have Japanese installed will be able to see it properly. Most languages come already installed with your operating system, but some need to be installed explicitly.

    For example, in order for Japanese to work, East Asian language support must be enabled in Windows XP. Also, for right-to-left languages (such as Arabic, Hebrew and Persian), right-to-left language support should be enabled. Both East Asian and right-to-left language support in Windows XP can be enabled from Settings > Control Panel > Regional And Language Options > Languages tab.

    Overstream basics - How it's done (Tutorial is 3.4Mb)




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