Captions Help Make YouTube Videos ADA Compliant

Although there’s been a lot of focus on Facebook video recently, YouTube is still a huge player – if not the biggest – in the online video world. In fact, over 1.9 billion logged-in users visit YouTube each month.

As a marketer, you want your videos to reach as many target viewers as possible. Therefore, it’s important to create videos that are accessible to people of all abilities.

Plus, there are new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines that marketers must pay attention to. While the ADA’s focus has been making facilities accessible, new emphasis is being placed on making business websites accessible. This means websites must be designed in a way that people with disabilities can access the information. For an overview of the changes you should make to your website, read our post Help Make Your Website ADA Compliant with These 10 Steps.

One way to help make your videos follow ADA guidelines is to add captions. There are about 1 million deaf people in the United States and another 10 million are hard of hearing. Captions help them consume your video content without sound. In addition, many people watch videos with the sound off. Perhaps they’re at the library, work or another place where they can’t have the sound on and need to read the videos rather than listen.

There are two main ways to add captions to YouTube videos – by using YouTube’s auto caption functionality or creating them yourself.

Make your YouTube Videos ADA Compliant

YouTube Automatic Captions

YouTube uses speech recognition technology with the YouTube caption system to create automatic captions. If automatic captions are available, they’ll automatically be published on the video. Automatic captions are available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

The technology is not perfect though and YouTube is working to improve it. According to YouTube, there are over 1 billion videos on their platform using automatic captions. If you use them, be sure to read the captions to ensure they’re accurate. Here are the instructions to edit automatic captions:

  1. Go to your Video Manager.
  2. Next to the video you want to edit captions for, click Edit > Subtitles and CC.
  3. Click on the caption track you want to edit.
  4. Click inside any line in the caption track panel and edit the text.
  5. Click Save changes.


Create Your Own Captions

You can create captions within YouTube or upload a caption file.

To create captions in YouTube.

  1. Go to your Video Manager by clicking your account in the top right > Creator Studio > Video Manager > Videos.
  2. Next to the video you want to add captions or subtitles to, click the drop-down menu next to the Edit button.
  3. Select Subtitles/CC.
  4. Click the Add new subtitles or CC button.
  5. Choose how you want to add or edit subtitles or closed captions to your video:

To upload a caption file, first make sure that your file type is supported on YouTube then follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio beta.
  2. From the left, select Videos.
  3. Click on the title or thumbnail of a video.
  4. Select the Advanced tab.
  5. Select Upload subtitles/cc.
  6. Choose between With timing or Without timing and select Continue.
  7. Choose a file to upload.
  8. Select Save.

Whether you use YouTube automatic captions or create them yourself, we encourage you to have captions for all your YouTube videos. If you need help navigation ADA guidelines for video and websites, contact MorePro Marketing.

MorePro Marketing ADA Compliance Solutions

We have a 20-year track record of improving digital marketing efforts for both large and small businesses. To help our clients and other businesses meet ADA guidelines, we have developed two website ADA compliancy solutions – WordPress and Custom Programming.

If your site was built in WordPress, you’ll choose the WordPress ADA Package option. If your site was built on another platform, we can provide a custom programming solution. Either way, we’ll perform the work quickly and effectively.

Contact Us to get started.