[Infographic] How Accessible Content Can Reach A Wider Audience
Updated: January 4, 2018
We live in a highly diverse world, each one of us constantly absorbing information differently. Why shouldn’t digital content reflect this?
Accessible content removes the barriers that prevent individuals with disabilities from accessing online content. In America, around 20% of the population has some form of a disability.
The web has been steadily making strides to create a more accessible web, but there is still a long way to go.
Often, accessible content is put on the back burner for reasons such as an organization doesn’t have a budget or is simply not aware of the legal requirements.
Ultimately, many organizations fail to realize the value of accessible content for a wider audience, not just for individuals with a disability.
As you will learn, there is a whole new world to reach through accessible content, one that you might not have realized existed.
This makes sense. When watching a lecture, it’s easy to get distracted. Captions, in turn, help students focus and digest the information better. They provide visual aids and are another way for your brain to take in the information spoken.
Furthermore, many students use transcripts to create study guides, find information, and learn difficult vocabulary. When the quality of the video is poor or the instructor has a difficult accent to understand, transcripts come to the rescue.
Everyone knows you have to keep your significant other happy; captions are one way to do that.
Couples can use captions when they want to watch TV, but don’t want to disturb their partner, or they can use them when there is a lot of background noise in the house, and one is trying to watch a video.
In conclusion, captions save relationships.
Captions and audio description can be incredibly helpful for kids when they are learning.
Captions are immensely helpful for learning to read. Since captions are visual aids of the words being spoken, they help kids focus, while simultaneously learning pronunciation, spelling, and reading.
There are many creative ways to use captions with kids to help them learn faster. For example, you could mute the audio, and have your kids read and act the captions out loud.
In addition, audio description can serve as a critical learning aid for kids. Listening is a key step when learning a language and audio description is the perfect accommodation to help in this department. One creative way to use audio description with kids is to have them act out or draw what they hear in the audio.
One of the best ways to learn a new language is through immersion. But if you can’t afford jetting off to Rome to learn Italian for a month or two, watching an Italian movie with captions is a comparable alternative.
In a survey on student uses of captions, 66% of ESL students found captions helpful.
But even learners outside the classroom can benefit from captions and transcripts. Both allow the viewer to pace themselves and absorb the material more efficiently. The viewer can pay more attention to the pronunciation, spelling, and catch unfamiliar words.
And if you are more of an auditory learner, audio description can help you learn on the go or in a vision-sensitive environment.
Imagine this: You’re in a crowded coffee shop. Chaotic noise surrounds you as you wait for your friend to arrive. You’re casually browsing Facebook on your mobile, when you see an intriguing video. Even though you don’t have headphones you press play in hopes that you can catch some audio, but the noise around you drowns out the audio, so you keep scrolling.
That’s one viewer lost.
Every day we are put in situations where access to captions would be helpful. Whether at work, at the airport, or at the gym, video is constantly playing around us, but often we don’t have headphones readily available.
With captions, viewers can easily grasp the content of the video, without the need of sound.
In an internal study, Facebook found 80% of their users reacted negatively to videos playing with the sound on. With this finding, they made an executive decision to auto-play all videos with the sound off and encourage their content creators to add captions to their videos.
Through the addition of captions, Facebook noticed a 12% increase in video view time.
So next you make a video, ensure you add captions so that it can make sense with sound and without because ultimately, you don’t know where and how your viewers will be watching.
With the turbulent speed of digital content nowadays, it’s important that you make your content accessible so that you don’t miss out on possible leads, customers, or advocates.
Accessible content gives your viewers the flexibility to digest your content.
Not all your viewers digest information the same, so providing them with options allows for greater audience reach and viewer retention.
The electric toothbrush was originally created for individuals with motor impairment. Today, it’s an accommodation everyone benefits from. Our goal should be to make accessible content as standard as the electric toothbrush.
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