Q&A: How Do You Create a Training Program for Closed Captioning?
Having a well-developed training program can directly impact the success of your institution’s accessibility initiative. Michigan State University was quick to realize this and decided to develop their own comprehensive training program.
The program was bred out of a survey that was conducted on faculty to see what technologies they used, what they knew about accessibility, and who was involved.
To learn more about the survey and training methods used by Michigan State University, watch the webinar, “Developing Accessibility Training Strategies in Higher Ed.”
Below is a snippet from the Q&A portion of the webinar covering vendors, closed captioning training, and where to get the survey questions asked in developing the training.
What sort of vendors are you generally working with?
PHILLIP DEATON: While I obviously can’t mention specific vendors, I think that it’s very important to work with vendors who provide both specialized expert level training as training to individuals who may be more at the beginner or intermediate level.
So in the past one thing which we did was we brought some of that more expert level training face-to-face on campus. Part of the reason for that was because we learned that the people that were most invested in accessibility had the time to attend face-to-face training, and really wanted to be able to learn from experts external to the university.
As you’re partnering with vendors, know that you’re never going to find 100% perfect fit, but I would invest time up front in thinking about what you want to accomplish with your strategy. I would also recommend pointing to specific software providers, whether that’s for document creation or media production, and linking to the tutorials which those content providers provide.
As you’re moving forward with vendor related training, receive feedback from your constituents.
How do you handle training for closed captioning?
PHILLIP DEATON: I think that there are definitely trainings which different captioning providers provide as resources on their websites, like how to do basic captioning.
In terms of more advanced [training like] how to actually write captions training, some of that can definitely tread into intermediate or advanced territory…If you have any preferred vendors for captioning on your campus, it can definitely be important for both beginner and intermediate training to demonstrate how to work with those vendors, especially if they have any tools baked into their captioning resources. That would be another area of training.
I do think that actually writing accurate and well-representative closed captions would maybe be more intermediate or advanced.
Can you provide all of your survey questions that were used?
JENNIFER ISMIRLE: If you go to the UARC website, we have a page about our surveys that we’ve run. You can go to usability.msu.edu/uoesurvey. And that will go directly to the page on the UARC website. That has two documents that you can download, one for each of the surveys that we ran, if you’re interested in those specific questions we used.
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