International Symbol of Deafness and hard of hearingThere are a number of good reasons to provide captions to your videos, some obvious, and some not so obvious. The most important one is for accessibility and to make sure everyone has equal access to the video content. This includes people with hearing loss.

Hearing loss, or hearing impairment, is a partial or total inability to hear. Some people with hearing loss have residual hearing, which could be augmented with hearing aid devices. Other people, may be deaf and have little or no hearing. Hearing loss can be caused by a number of differing factors such as exposure to certain drugs, toxins or chemicals, genetics, ageing, noise exposure, trauma, or the like.

According to the Australian Network on Disability over 4 million people in Australia have a disability, being approximately 1 in 5 people. There are approximately 30,000 Deaf Auslan users in Australia with total hearing loss and a staggering 1 in 6 people are affected by some form of hearing loss.

In contrast, in the United States of America, the Hearing Loss Association of America found that about 20% of the population, reported some form of hearing loss, but this equates to 48 million people who could be excluded from your promotional video if it will be seen in the USA.

Obviously, if there are videos being used in workplaces, public buildings, medical centres or the like and the Deaf community are not being considered, then this isn’t an equitable approach and presents as discrimination.

Another good reason is to help search engines understand the content of your videos and to help them rank in searches. Internet search engines will rely on the metadata and captions to help determine the content and find keywords.

Captions can also improve comprehension, which is very important in noisy environments, or those with poor acoustics, and even those environments where speakers might not be available or used (such as in quiet libraries, study halls or museums).

So what are you waiting for?  Press Play on Accessibility.

Get your videos captioned. Read more here:

Contact Universal Captions for more information.