Everything You Need to Know About Captioning Training Videos
Updated: June 3, 2019
Training videos have become a popular method for companies all over the world to educate their staff.
Not only are they cost-effective, but training videos are also engaging and extremely versatile.
No matter how you are creating training videos – whether they are animated or lecture style – captioning your training videos will reap even greater returns for your employees and your organization.
Do you have to legally caption training videos?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires private companies to caption their content. This includes public-facing videos, training videos, video tutorials, and video used for internal communications.
Company training videos must be accessible as required under Title I and Title II of the ADA.
Title I of the ADA prohibits employers and government agencies from discriminating against qualified individuals on the basis of a disability. Title I covers all aspects of a job including job training.
Title II of the ADA prohibits public entities from refusing to accommodate people with disabilities and must provide the necessary aids to ensure equal access.
Under the ADA, employers must make the necessary accommodations for their employees, as long as these accommodations do not impose “undue hardship” to the business.
FedEx lawsuit & training videos
In 2014, FedEx was sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for failing to provide captions and sign language interpreters for in-person training and training videos in the following situations:
- Mandatory initial tour of facilities
- New-hire orientation applicants
- Staff meetings
- Performance meetings
- Safety meetings
This was a clear violation of the ADA, and the courts agreed.
With an annual revenue well into the billions, FedEx was unable to prove an “undue burden” to the company. When FedEx filed a motion to dismiss the case, a federal judge denied the motion.
While the case still remains in litigation, it proves the importance of creating an inclusive environment at your company and the repercussions that can come from not doing so.
What are the benefits to captioning training videos?
There are many reasons why companies are opting to caption their training videos.
The most obvious benefits of captioning is for accessibility. Providing accessible company training videos is not only legally required, but ethically important.
Hearing loss is often an invisible disability in the workplace. Captioning training videos will ensure that deaf or hard of hearing employees receive an equal level of training as other employees.
Humans have an attention span of 8 seconds, which is actually a second shorter than a goldfish’s attention span.
While training videos can be highly engaging, sometimes it’s harder to capture a person’s attention with just video.
So how do you retain employee attention? You use captions! Captions help to reiterate and the clarify information for your audience. In fact, a research study by the University of Iowa found that people recalled information better after seeing and hearing it.
If you work for a global company, it can be both time consuming and expensive to have to recreate videos in different languages.
One quick workaround is to simply translate your content. With captions, you can easily do this.
Tools to make training videos more engaging
When you caption your videos, you make it easier to translate, create derivative content, and use tools like the interactive transcript and playlist search.
What is the interactive transcript?
The interactive transcript allows users to search for keywords in a transcript, then jump to the specific spot where the keyword is mentioned in the video. It creates a completely interactive viewing experience for your user.
In a study by the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, students who used the interactive transcript saw their final score improve by twice as much.
What is playlist search?
Playlist search allows users to search for a keyword throughout the whole video library. So if a user is searching for training videos about employee conduct, they can simply type that into the search bar and every video that talks about employee conduct will populate.
Playlist search makes it easier for your employees to customize their experience and more efficiently find the videos they need to watch.
How to get started with captioning
So you are convinced, you need to start captioning your training videos, and you need to start captioning them now!
If you opt to do it yourself, know that it can be a very time consuming process, especially if you are creating a lot of training videos.
Use automatic speech recognition software to help speed up the process of captioning. Simply make sure to edit those captions as they can be highly inaccurate.
While budget can sometimes be a barrier to captioning videos, hiring a professional captioning company can prove to be a cost-effective and more efficient solution.
It’s important to choose a vendor that can handle your volume of content, the difficulty of your content, and can simplify your workflow.
At the end of the day, captioning your videos will reap a greater return. Whether you do-it-yourself or hire a vendor, you are contributing to greater inclusivity in the workplace.
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