Accessible Multimedia at UAA
The University of Alaska Anchorage recognizes the wide range of multimedia used in education and strives to enhance understanding of best practices. There are training resources related to:
Audio and Video
Remember that Consultations are available and interns or service learning students may be able to provide assistance in the creation of transcripts for audio files as well as subtitle and caption files for video.
UAA Video Quick Tip Handout gives top tips for accessibility and is designed to be printed and folded.
The Faculty Technology Center has some great Digital Guides that address the basic use of tools like Audacity and Windows Movie Maker.
When thinking about audio and video it is good to recognize established standards:
Audio recordings - If an individual with a documented need requests a transcript, then one must be provided in a timely manner. The UAA CMS pages include an embed MP3 element that provides a mechanism for transcripts to be loaded. Providing transcripts from the outset is ideal when possible because it provides for seamless access and can improve search results as well.
Video encompasses both the traditional type that is shot with a camera but also the type of that can be produced through screen capture or other related methods. Since video contains both audio and visual elements it is important to not only have a transcript, but also to have timing codes that ensure the text being read can be easily matched with the scenes being displayed. For video to be accessible to those who are blind it may also be necessary to provide audio descriptions of the visual elements.
For video that is shared on public webspace it can be a good idea to upload to YouTube first, add subtitles there, then embed within the CMS page. This will maximize the likelihood of being found and will make it easy for users to display captions/subtitles on demand and event to request automatic translation to other languages. Note that UAA is using Universal Subtitles which makes it easy to caption any videos used on university webpages.
Using the Content of Others is common. There are all kinds of videos out there on YouTube, and often, they are a great match for the courses, programs, and other offerings we offer. One best practice is to search for existing material using advanced searches and filters. For example, in a YouTube search you can simply enter the keyword then a comma and the letters cc to search for only captioned videos on a given topic. Like this:
If there is no accessible video on the topic you need, and the video you want to use is not accessible, you should request a consultation with an accessibility intern.
UAA has added the Universal Subtitles code to our Content Management System. This means that all of the videos we embed, whether from YouTube, Vimeo, etc will show a Universal Subtitles button underneath the video.
If there are already subtitles that exist for the video, they will be available from a drop down list. Anyone can add a subtitle track, or improve the quality of an existing subtitle file or translation.
The process of creating subtitles is easy, free, and web based. There are good video tutorials as well as handouts with printed instructions.
Subtitle workshop and Jubler are free programs that can be used to create subtitle files for youtube. This helps to ensure that people watching our videos anywhere around the world can easily view the english language subtitle files in a manner similiar to how closed captions work, or, with the translate subtitle option, the text can be displayed in other languages as needed.
Captioning with Camtasia
Camtasia is a program that can be used to capture whatever is being displayed on screen. It is useful for creating tutorials that allow users to watch mouse movements and other steps in computer related processes. There are also a variety of interactive features that can be included within tutorials and other media such as video, audio, and images can be brought in. The captivate program provides an easy to use tool for captioning files and lets authors pick from open or closed caption display.
Captioning with Captivate
Captivate has some really impressive features that allow users to take an existing PowerPoint presentation with speaker notes. Bring it into Captivate, then turn the speaker notes into both audio and captions. The program uses text to speech and lets authors select from male or female voices when generating the synthetic speech.
If a transcript is not available and has to be produced there are some different options to consider. One possible workflow that works well is:
Voice Recognition software can be used to "revoice" audio and create a transcript. While listening to audio through earphones, the voicer simply restates the spoken portions into a microhphone. Because the audio is coming through earphones the microphone is not picking up the sound from the original audio, only the voice of the person who is speaking or "revoicing" the lines into the microphone.
Another option which is often used for transcribing full length videos is TypeWell. Transcribers use sophisticated abbreviation software to type what is being said with far fewer keystrokes. UAA Disability Support Service can provide transcribing at cost for projects outside the scope of the web accessibility interns.