3Play Media’s Top Content in 2021
Updated: January 3, 2022
As industry leaders in video accessibility content, we keep our finger on the pulse of the most relevant topics in the accessibility community. To help our readers stay just as up-to-date as we are, we’re regularly researching and publishing blog content, podcast episodes, and webinars to share the wealth of knowledge – check out this compilation of all our top content from 2021:
The Complete Guide to SRT Files: the What, How, and Why
Our most popular blog post in 2021 gave readers the lowdown on one of the most common file formats used in the process of subtitling and closed captioning: SRT (or SubRip Subtitle) files. SRT files are an easy, do-it-yourself solution for captioning video content that is widely supported by most media players and video software.
The primary motivation for captioning video content is to comply with legal requirements, but making your content more accessible has almost endless benefits, like boosting video SEO, improving viewer comprehension, and increasing brand awareness & recall.
While anyone can create SRT files using their own computer, it can be a little overwhelming when you’re just getting started. DIY captioning methods are certainly more cost-friendly, but writing your own captions also requires manually synchronizing the text and timecodes.
As industry leaders in captioning solutions, we put together a definitive guide to explain what SRT files are, how to write your own (including timecodes!), and why you should create captioning files. However, if you plan on captioning many videos or lengthy videos, it may be worthwhile to consider hiring a captioning service. A full-service captioning partner ensures all your video content is legally compliant and avoids the need to consider the technicalities of caption-writing.
Closed Captioning vs. Subtitles: Is There a Difference?
The words “closed captions” and “subtitles” are often used interchangeably, however, they actually refer to two different methods of written dialogue. In short: subtitles translate spoken dialogue from one language to another, while closed captions visually present all spoken dialogue and relevant non-speech elements.
Relevant non-speech elements include sound effects, speaker IDs, or any other auditory information that is critical to a viewer’s understanding of the video’s content. Because of this, closed captions are used as an aid to the D/deaf and hard-of-hearing, and are required under United States law for most published video.
On the other hand, subtitles do not include non-speech elements and primarily serve as translations for viewers who cannot understand the original language. Although closed captions & subtitles have different intentions for use, both are always synchronized with the media and give users the option to toggle on/off.
YouTube SEO Strategy: Tips to Boost Your Search Ranking
As one of the largest search engines in the world (second only to its parent company, Google), YouTube is consistently one of our most talked-about blog topics. In years past, we’ve taught readers how to upload and ensure your own captions display on Youtube – but this year, our readers wanted to learn more about SEO strategy and search ranking on the popular video platform.
Search engine optimization (SEO) aims to improve content rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) and is a crucial metric for analyzing your content’s reach, generating traffic, and growing an audience. An effective SEO strategy uses targeted keywords, meta descriptions, tags, and more to reach your desired audience.
However, improving video accessibility can also boost YouTube SEO. Since search engine bots can’t watch videos like human viewers, they rely on text-based information to properly index video content. By uploading transcripts, closed captions, and/or subtitles along with your video, search engines can more effectively process & serve your content – leading to improved user experience, engagement, watch time, viewership, and more.
Allied podcast brings together top accessibility experts for a discussion on what they’re passionate about – accessible design in every facet of the world. Check out our top-listened episodes from this year:
David Berman: What Goes Wrong When We Design for People and not with People?
In our July episode of Allied podcast, certified e-accessibility professional David Berman discussed what happens when well-meaning people meet unexpected outcomes resulting from a lack of inclusion in the design process.
David has over 30 years of experience in design and communications and has worked extensively in the adaptation of content for electronic distribution, including accessible web and software interface development. He regularly teaches WCAG principles as a part of his professional development workshops, and his work includes award-winning projects for Canada’s federal government.
Emily Yates: Access & Inclusion for People with Disabilities
In April, journalist and accessibility consultant Emily Yates joined Allied Podcast to discuss the importance of creating accessible & inclusive spaces for people with disabilities, from both an ethical perspective and a business perspective.
Emily currently works as the Principal Accessibility Consultant for the Mima Group (formerly known as CCD Design & Ergonomics), has played a key role in several BBC3 documentaries, as well as earned an endorsement from the International Paralympic Committee. As a wheelchair user herself, much of Emily’s expertise is rooted in personal experience and her work seamlessly blends personal interests with professional pursuits.
Belén Agulló García: Accessible Gaming & Immersive Experiences
Our May episode of Allied podcast featured Belén Argulló García, video game enthusiast and multimedia accessibility expert, discussing how to work toward making fun accessible for everyone.
Belén has had a passion for video games and learning languages since childhood and began working at a game localization company as a linguist and project manager directly after graduating from college. She continued pursuing her passions and obtained a Ph.D. (with distinction!) in multimedia accessiblity, which has informed her motivation in life: making games accessible for everyone.
We regularly host free webinars to share our knowledge and collaborate with even more accessibility experts so viewers understand the tangible ways in which they can create a more accessible internet. Here are our top-attended webinars in 2021:
Creating and Providing Training on Accessibility
This webinar featured Emily Ogle, senior regulatory strategist of accessibility at Cerner Corporation. At the intersection of healthcare and information technology, Cerner provides health-related information technology services, devices, and hardware.
As a hard-of-hearing closed captions user herself, Emily has taken an active role in advocating for accessibility. In this webinar, she shared everything she’s learned about providing effective corporate accessibility training, from the basics (like how long training should last) to the high-level perspective of accessibility (like the incorporation of assistive devices).
2021 Digital Accessibility Legal Update with Lainey Feingold
Disability rights lawyer, author, and public speaker Lainey Feingold joined 3Play once again to deliver her 2021 update on the state of digital accessibility legislation and lawsuits.
Lainey has worked in the disability rights space for over 25 years, and in this webinar, she outlined how the law influences digital accessibility, which laws are applicable, how to avoid lawsuits and more. Lainey emphasized that digital accessibility is a civil right, and everyone has the capability to “open the door” to a more accessible internet.
Web Accessibility Lawsuit Trends in 2020
At the beginning of the year, UsableNNet’s Chief Innovation Officer Jason Taylor presented the top trends observed in web accessibility lawsuits throughout 2020.
Jason has worked in the accessibility and usability communities for over 20 years, and in this presentation, he broke down the most important statistics from UsableNet’s annual report on digital accessibility, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the frequency of related lawsuits.
Video and Media Accessibility Predictions for 2022
As we reflect on another year of challenge and change for society, 3Play Media co-founders and co-CEOs Chris Antunes and Josh Miller propose thoughtful video and media accessibility predictions for the year ahead. We learned invaluable video lessons throughout our second calendar…
New Lawsuit Looks to End Inaccessibility of Popular Podcast Platforms
On December 14, 2021, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) announced their accessibility lawsuit against podcast services offered by SiriusXM, Stitcher, and Pandora. Surprisingly, these major entertainment providers do not prioritize transcription of podcasts hosted on…
The New Normal: A 2021 Snapshot of Video Accessibility in Higher Education
When the pandemic started, many higher education institutions faced unknown territory. The pandemic forced educators and students to learn new technologies, prioritize video as a classroom tool, and interact in virtual environments. Now, almost two years later, video’s role in higher education…