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Pennsylvania State of Higher Education (PASSHE) Virtual Conference – Webinar Transcript

JOSEPH ZISK: Hi, everybody. This Joe Zisk. I’m the moderator of this session. And welcome to Transforming the Teaching and Learning Environment to 2013 PASSHE Virtual Conference. The session today is one of the many 60 hour long sessions that we had that will go up until tomorrow, February 22.

For those of you who may be new the Blackboard Collaborate, please make sure to mute your mic. That means don’t push the talk button until you’re ready to speak. And then when you’re done speaking, please turn it off. You can also use the text chat window at any time to add comments or to ask questions. You can also click on your Raise The Hand button to indicate that you would like to speak, to be recognized in the order that you raise your hand.

As a reminder, all sessions are closed captioned. To turn on the captioning, just click on the Closed Caption icon above the video window. And you can do the same thing to turn off the captioning icon. In fact, today’s session, Video Captioning for Accessibility– Penn State Demos Its Solution— will be starting in just a few moments. And we have three presenters. And I’ll start off by handing it off to Josh Miller. He’s from 3Play Media. And then he’ll go introduce the other folks and begin the presentation. Josh, can you please begin?

JOSH MILLER: Great. Thanks, Joe. So my name is Josh Miller, and I am one of the founders of 3Play Media, where we focus on making video content more accessible through transcription and closed captioning. So I’m going to start off by going through a quick overview of what closed captions are and some of the relevant legislation. And then I’m going to turn it over to Keith Bailey from Penn State who’s going to actually demonstrate that the solution they’ve built around creating accessible media.

So what are closed captions? From the very beginning here, caption refers to the process of taking an audio track and transcribing it into text, to then synchronize that text with the media. Closed captions are typically located underneath a video or overlaid on top. In addition to spoken words, captions convey all meaning and include sound effects.

And this is a key difference from subtitles. They’re often confused with each other. Closed captions originated in the early 1980s by an FCC mandate that applied to broadcast television. And now that online video is rapidly becoming the dominant medium, captioning laws and practices are proliferating there as well.

So some basic terminology– captioning versus transcription. A transcript is usually a text document without any time information. On the other hand, captions are time synchronized with the media. You can make captions from a transcript by breaking the text up into small segments called caption frames and then synchronizing them with the media, such that each caption frame is displayed at the right time.

Captioning versus subtitling. The difference between captions and subtitles is that subtitles are intended for viewers who do not have a hearing impairment. They may not understand the language that the content is being displayed. Subtitles capture the spoken content, but not necessarily the sound effects. So for web video, it’s possible to create multilingual subtitles and display that with your video.

The difference between closed captioning and open captioning is that closed captions can be turned on or off by the viewer, while open captions are burned into the video and cannot be turned off. Most web video allows for closed captions so that it’s a better viewer experience.

Post production means that the captioning process occurs offline and usually takes a few days to complete, whereas real time captioning– as you’re seeing here in this session– is done by live captioners. And there are certainly advantages and disadvantages of each process, depending on what it is you’re doing.

How are Captions Used?

So how are captions used? With online media, there are actually quite a few applications that go well beyond just the obvious hearing impairment requirements. And we actually have a number of guides on how to handle the fact that with web media, every web player handles captions differently. So we have a number of guides on our website you can find on how to page– or the how it works page, I should say– that will explain how to add captions to different types of media players.

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