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Re: Using closed captioning versus open


From: Paul Bohman
Date: Aug 25, 2001 2:49PM

Both of you have brought up excellent points. I would have to agree that it
is better to provide captions in a way that the people who really need them
don't have to work to hard to see them. I don't know if there are any real
advantages to having the captions off by default, other than the idea that
most people aren't used to seeing them. Despite some potential usability
problems, closed captioning is very acceptable. Television has a history of
being closed captioned, rather than open captioned. Still, some people won't
realize that captions are even available if they have the "display captions"
setting turned off.
One way around this would be to provide a text sentence prior to the link to
the video which says "Closed captioned: follow this link for instructions on
accessing the captions." Something like that.
The choice is left to the web designer. I have no problem with closed
captioning, but you should consider your audience, the purpose of the video
and so on before deciding on closed versus open captioning.
Paul Bohman
Technology Coordinator
WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
Utah State University
-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]On Behalf Of
Holly Marie
Sent: Saturday, August 25, 2001 1:14 PM
To: WebAIM forum
Subject: Re: Using closed captioning versus open captioning

----- Original Message -----
From: "Johanna Frohm"
> I am wondering about the merits of using open
> captioning in a SMIL file versus using closed captioning. Closed
> captioning will display if the accessibility feature is enabled in
> RealPlayer Preferences. If open captioning is used, it will be visible
> to everyone without any additional steps. It benefits the person with
> the hearing impairment, but it may also benefit others, such as the
> person working at a workstation with their speakers turned off, the
> person working at a computer without speakers, or a person working in
> noisy environment. There are probably other reasons open captioning
> be useful, but are their reasons for not using it?
You bring up a very good point Johanna, and I was wondering myself,
wouldn't it even be better if captioning view was set up as default on
and requiring someone to turn it off if not wanting to view?
seems that the captioning already available to everyone, then off for
those that do not want it on, would be a nicer solution. However, I do
realize that we as designers go so far and the users should know how and
where to set their settings, or use their special tools, programs, or