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Assisting LAM users with disabilities

Best practices and requirements


The Division of Libraries, Archives & Museums creates and publishes video and audio-recordings relating to our services and collections.  Captions must be made available for videos and transcripts must be made available for audio-recordings.  Also, if the audio-recording does not sufficiently describe visual content, audio-description is also required  This guide describes options for meeting these requirements.

Use CaptionSync

The Division now uses Automatic Sync Technologies CaptionSync tools and services for many of its captioning and audio description needs.  Instructions and guidelines are under construction.

YouTube's Automatic Captioning (use with caution)

YouTube will automatically caption videos; however, in many cases subtitles are imperfect or missing entirely. 

If you do add a video to YouTube, review the subtitles.  If they are missing or poor, you can correct the subtitles through YouTube or use our deposit account with 3Play Media to have 3Play Media create subtitles. 

You can improve YouTube's handling of your video by using the steps below.

  1. Avoid a long period of silence at the start of the video.
  2. Break long videos up into 1 to 1.25  hour chunks, and publish them as parts.
  3. Create videos with good sound quality.
  4. After you add a video to YouTube, check to see if subtitles exist, and then check the quality of the subtitles.  YouTube states that the time required for the captions to be generated depends on the complexity of the video's audio.  If no subtitles are created, or they are really bad, notify the captioning team. If subtitles exist and are reasonably good, edit them if possible.

If you modify YouTube's captions, it is a good idea to download the caption files for preservation.  Download the SRT, FTT, and TXT files. 

Do-it-Yourself using Amara

Because captioning is a labor intensive process and LAM has a deposit account with 3Play Media for captioning, we only recommend the DIY option for short videos.   If you want to give it a try, Amara is a good option.

To begin captioning a LAM video using Amara, first find the video on YouTube.  Select “show more” under the video.  You will then see a link to the video on Amara.  After you select this link, you will be asked to log into your Amara account.

Once you have used Amara for a particular video, you can easily find it again in your Amara “account activity.”  So you won't necessarily need to link to it through YouTube.

Social media

Some of tips from the webinar:

  • Make sure your section's contact information is entered in the account page.
  • Link to the Division's accessibility information.
  • Use more than one social media platform.
  • Caption or use alt-text for images.  You may need to turn on alt-text (in Twitter for example), to use the alt-text function.  Other platforms (such as Instagram), may not offer alt-text at all, and in those cases, just ensure you include a good description of the photo.
  • When linking to media in a tweet, consider indicating what type of media is behind the tweet ([PIC], [VIDEO, [AUDIO].
  • Minimize hashtags and handles in the middle of tweets - add them to the end if you can do it and still make narrative sense.
  • Use CamelCase for hashtags (for example, use #ScreenReaderDemo instead of #screenreaderdemo).
  • If posting video or audio, ensure it is captioned, you provide a transcript if captioning isn't possible, and that you provide audio-description if necessary for that video. Do not rely on YouTube's automatic captioning unless you review and correct the captions.
  • Avoid using acronyms.