Captions, audio descriptions and transcripts

This video gives you some advice about alternatives for audio and video content. Captions, audio descriptions and transcripts


Hi, I’m Gosia from Nomensa, and today I’ll be talking about alternatives for audio and video content, such as captions, audio descriptions and transcripts.

Firstly, let’s look at captions. Captions are intended to enable those who are deaf or have hearing impairments to access any auditory information in media with audio content. Captions are in the same language as the audio content. They include dialogue, and, unlike subtitles, also identify who is speaking and provide information about significant sound effects. Captions can be either open (that is always visible) or closed (can be turned on and off). Captions should be synchronized – displayed text should appear at the same time as the relevant audio content. Now, let’s have a look at audio descriptions. Audio descriptions are intended to enable those who are blind or visually impaired to access visual information in media with visual content.

Audio description provides information about significant visual details that cannot be understood from the main soundtrack alone. During natural pauses in dialogue or critical sound elements, important actions, characters, scene changes, and on-screen text are described.

Finally, let’s talk about transcripts. Transcripts provide a textual version of the audio and video content that can be accessed by anyone. They should include spoken dialogue, and should also describe important sound effects and visual details. To make sure all time-based media content is accessible to the maximum number of people, we need to provide:

  • A transcript for all audio-only content;
  • A transcript or an audio description for video-only content;
  • Both captions and a transcript (or an audio description) for audio & video content.

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