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Legal Compliance to Media Accessibility Laws: A Big Necessity

With over 10 years of experience and track record in the captioning industry, Vanan Captioning has the expertise and understanding to adhere to the compliance and rules of captioning. We comply and offer quality services to various industries and organizations such as Academic, Medical, Legal, Media, Corporate and so on.

FCC Compliance

Is your Online Video Compliant to FCC Mandates?

Nowadays television programs are no longer restricted only to TV channels, it is easily available online through several web channels. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has successfully established captioning rules for all video programing distributors such as cable, satellite and other services. Online video programs are generally categorized as IP-delivered content. As per Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standards, all such content should be closed captioned, if being previously broadcasted on TV. However, this is not applicable to videos publicized only on the Internet. FCC continues to advocate the following rules for online video captioning:

Four Major Quality Standards
  1. Accuracy : FCC has a clear set of rules when it comes to accuracy. First and foremost, no paraphrasing is permitted while captioning an online video/TV program. Captions should ideally reflect the speaker’s exact dialogues and to be rendered with precise spelling, punctuation, and grammar. The original intention and tone of the speaker must be retained for your video to be compliant to FCC standards for accessibility.
  2. Time Synchronicity : As the name suggests, captions should be synchronized with the time of the dialogue delivered. Captions should perfectly align with the spoken words so as to make it more appealing to the viewers. The scrolling pace of the captions also must be standardized (giving enough time for the viewers to read)
  3. Content Completeness : If ever using closed captions for your video, keep in mind to include them from start to finish. It is against the rule to pause the usage of captions in between the video. This further, can put your video at risk for not being compliant with FCC rules for accessibility.
  4. Placement : The positioning of captions also has a certain rule. Captions must be placed on the screen in such a way that it does not block the images or other vital info. Legible font size is advisable for easy access to your videos.

At Vanan Captioning, our closed captions are submissive to the quality standards set by the FCC for accuracy, time synchronicity, content completeness, and placement.

American Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance

Ready to reduce the video accessibility gap?

When passed in 1990, ADA was initially intended to assist disabled individuals with physical structures such as special ramps in buildings for handicapped, informational signage in Braille, etc. But with the advent of the Internet, this act has become applicable to the media world as well. This act directs to provide closed captions for the video to be made comprehensive to anyone with a disability. Furthermore, ADA doesn’t accommodate any specifications for online video captioning. But in 2012, Netflix with around 20 million subscribers had begun to caption 100 percent of its videos after being charged for not offering closed captions for their videos. As per ADA standards, closed captions are required for:

  • Public entities: Closed captions must be used for videos that are being used for both internal and external communication. It is extended to the services of both state and local governments.
  • Locations where public assemblies: Closed captions are considered to be a necessity in places of public accommodation. This rule is exempted to religious institutions and private clubs.

In addition, have a look at some of the major captioning standards making it compliant to ADA benchmarks.

  • Captions should be shown within 3 lines on the screen and also must be viewable for 3 to 7 seconds.
  • Captions should be accurately time-synched to the video
  • 99% precise spelling, tone, slang, and punctuations
  • Captions should use both upper- and lower-case letters
  • Non-speech sounds and gestures should be captioned and should be shown in square brackets. For instance [panting], [sad], [laughter], etc.
NCDAE Compliance

Improved Education for the Disabled Made Possible

In recent years, there has been an increase in the use of web and digital materials for academic purposes. But are these educational resources addressing the needs of individuals with disability? In order to tackle such issues, the National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE) has developed a set of rules to create accessible content. Here is a sneak peek to the common instructions to develop content with universal access.

  • Legible writing method should be advocated : It is advisable to use simple language to portray your idea/thought. Always double check spelling, grammar and the readability of your content. Refrain from using complex language (jargon, abbreviations, etc.) that might confuse the reader. Also, the usage of ‘ALL CAPS’ should be strictly avoided as it makes the text hard to read.
  • Videos and live audios must have captions :NCDAE makes it mandatory that all educational videos must either be captioned or provided with transcripts to assist the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Captions used must be perfectly aligned to the text in the video.
  • Follow a good semantic structure for your document : It is ideal to start your document with a proper title. The rule suggests that true headings must be used for an organized content. For instance, if the document starts with a first-level heading (H1), it should always follow a second-level heading (H2) and not skip any levels. Always use a true bulleted list rather than using normal numbering or symbols. For long documents, NCDAE recommends providing a separate table of contents.
  • Ensure that the links or URLs shared are descriptive : Non-descriptive links such as ‘click here’, ‘read more’, ‘more info’, etc. should be completely avoided. Instead, try to use descriptive links such as ‘sign in with yahoo’, ‘subscribe for premium Grammarly services’, etc.
Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP)

What makes a caption more accessible to the Hearing Impaired?

Captioning opens up the reality of accessibility for people with hearing disabilities and language learners. Captions are not just texts equivalent to the dialogues, but they also include sound effects, gestures, music descriptions, etc. As per the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) quality standards, all captions must reflect the original language. Addition or removal of words/phrases and replacement of complex words with synonyms etc. should be avoided. However, the law permits you to edit the content for it to be in synchronization with the audio.

Essentials for Top-quality Captioning
  • Accuracy : Faultless captions must be the primary aim of any video product. Consistency: For a better comprehension of the video, it is vital to develop captions that are uniform in its font style and presentation.
  • Clarity : Clarity can be easily achieved by including a complete textual illustration of the video. This can include non-speech information such as sound effects, gestures, background music, etc.
  • Readability : The presentation of the captions should be taken care of as it should not block the visual content. It should be presented with enough display time and in perfect synchronization with the audio.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

Interested in making your web content more accessible?

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) was established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which is the highest authority in web accessibility. WCAG 2.0 covers a wide range of suggestions to make web content more accessible, especially to users with disabilities. There are 4 major layers of guidance in order to best address the needs of the disabled community.

  • Overall Principles : The foundation of the WCAG guidelines is laid on the four principles namely – perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.
  • Common Guidelines : There are 12 guidelines which come under the principles. These guidelines form the framework that guides authors to create content that will be more accessible to users with different disabilities.
  • Success Norms : The guidelines help the video production team to review the success criteria. There are three levels of conformance based on the needs of different groups and situations. For a web page to be compliant to WCAG 2.0 the following conformance demand must be satisfied – A (lowest), AA, AAA (highest).
  • Sufficient and advisory techniques : Each of the guidelines will have a variety of techniques which are grouped into two categories: Techniques that are just sufficient to meet the success criteria and that are advisory.
The User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) Compliance

Is your web browser accessible to all?

The User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) were formed as part of the W3C, Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). The user agent is a general term that refers to a software that facilitates end-user interaction with web content. UAAG has a set of recommendations to guide the user agent developers to improve accessibility to all its users. It also enables users to have an equal space to access the web. Only an accessible user agent and accessible content can enhance web accessibility. Unlike WCAG which offers 4 layers of guidance, UAAG provides you with three layers of guidance namely: overall principles, general guidelines, and testable success criteria.

  • Overall Principles : There are five principles which strengthen the UAAG recommendations. While the first three principles are parallel to that of WCAG 2.0 principles, the last two are applicable for user agents.
  • General Guidelines : For each principle, there is a set of guidelines to guide the software developer. It forms the framework that directs them to produce a user agent that will be more accessible to users with different disabilities.
  • Success Criteria : Whenever conformance testing is necessary, a set of testable criteria can be used to understand whether the user agent will be able to meet the success criteria of three different levels of conformance.

At Vanan Captioning, we ensure perfection when it comes to providing accessible content. Our skilled captioning team works in compliance with these aforementioned video accessibility laws. With loyal customers all across the globe, our captioning services are the ones that you can rely on. If your video copy doesn’t satisfy the accessibility standards, then you are putting yourself into risk. It can even lead you to legal complications. Why worry when you will receive legally compliant closed captions from Vanan Captioning.

Not sure which video accessibility law is applicable to you? We can help you out. Request a free quote now! Contact our 24/7 customer support team for more information about our web accessibility services. We are more than a captioning company! Our value-added services include translation, transcription, voice-over, subtitling, and much more.