The Future of Closed Captioning in Higher Education

In this webinar, Sean Zdenek will first focus on the hurdles and challenges of developing an infrastructure for closed captioning at the university level. He will then take a closer look at where closed captioning is going, focusing on the likely future requirements for, advancements in, and features of captioning.

With recent lawsuits, evolving legal requirements, and continuous advancements in technology, the question of closed captioning in higher education is one that is on a lot of people’s minds. What does the future of captioning hold?

In this webinar, Sean Zdenek, author of the book Reading Sounds: Closed Captioned Media and Popular Culture and an Associate Professor at Texas Tech University, will answer exactly that question. Given the legal landscape, he will first focus on the hurdles and challenges of developing an infrastructure for closed captioning at the university level. Sean will then take a closer look at where closed captioning is going, focusing on the likely future requirements for, advancements in, and features of captioning.

This presentation will cover:

  • Developing an infrastructure for captioning at the university level
  • Training faculty & addressing faculty resistance
  • Faculty response to new captioning mandates
  • Future requirements for captioning
  • Current & future advancements in closed captioning technology
  • Advanced features that make captioning beneficial to all users

Presenters

Sean Zdenek
Author, Reading Sounds | Associate Professor, Texas Tech University

Lily Bond (Moderator)
Director of Marketing | 3Play Media


Webinar Insight: Closed Captioning Advocacy

In the 3Play Media webinar The Future of Closed Captioning in Higher Education, an attendee posed this nuanced question to presenter Sean Zdenek:

Sometimes when people communicate the advantages of captioning for non-disabled students as a way to sell the idea, I think it can unintentionally send the message that providing access to deaf students is not enough reason in and of itself to caption.

How might we communicate these other benefits without inadvertently communicating that access for deaf people is not a good enough reason to caption?

This is an important question for all caption advocates to consider: how do you convince the non-disabled populace of the benefits of captioning video without devaluing the need for accommodations for deaf and hard of hearing people?

Sean Zdenek, the author of Reading Sounds, a book about closed captioning in media and pop culture, answered with this.

SEAN ZDENEK: When I was putting this presentation together, I wanted to be sensitive to the criticisms of this concept of rhetorical widening. I think Jay Dolmage and other rhetorical scholars have called out this practice.

Rhetorical widening is the idea that captioning only becomes valuable when mainstream audiences recognize its value.

I’m hearing and I cannot live without captions.

I have grappled with that a little bit.

That’s why in this presentation I refer to what I call the ‘primary stakeholders’ – deaf and hard of hearing viewers who truly need captioning.

I have an immediate family member who is deaf. This is the context for me. I think these are the most important stakeholders. It all has to sort of begin and end with them.

So I’m aware of some of the criticisms of rhetorical widening. I think universal design needs to go hand-in-hand with the recognition that as more students attend college, more students with disabilities attend college. And we need to make sure that we do as much as we can for them.

At the same time, I’m hearing and I cannot live without captions. I think there’s a way, perhaps, to embrace multiple audiences without losing sight of the important deaf and hard of hearing audience.

We want to know: why do you use closed captions? Are they necessary for you to understand what’s being said? Do they help you stay focused? Or do you just enjoy them?

Take this poll and see what other readers say: