YouTube has added a number of updates to its closed captioning feature, which will make watching videos on the community more accessible for the hearing impaired through new language support, search options, and settings for text.
Back in October, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published rules on closed captioning requirements for the Web. While YouTube is not required to provide captions on original online programming (per the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act) and there are technical challenges in doing so, the site is doing what it can to make the site more accessible for people with disabilities—and that should be applauded.
Automatic captioning, which was already available in English and Japanese, now has Korean support. Transcript synchronization is available for those three languages too, while video uploaders can manually add captions in 155 languages and dialects.
Also new is a function that lets you search for videos with captioning, by adding “cc” to any search or filtering the results by CC (closed captioning). When browsing movies and shows, you can view the available subtitle languages before choosing to rent something.
You can alter the font size and color of captions to make them more readable by accessing the settings menu from the “CC” icon at the bottom of a video.
If you are uploading a video file that is already encoded with captions (for instance, a video ripped from a VHS or DVD), YouTube will attempt to extract the caption data and add it to your video on the site. Lastly, YouTube now supports several captioning formats used by television networks.
Those are small steps for YouTube, but they’ll go a long ways towards creating a more inclusive experience, especially for the site’s major budget productions.
Photo by allensima