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Department of Education and Early Development Alaska State Libraries, Archives, and Museums

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Assisting LAM users with disabilities: Captioning videos

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 this content.  This guide describes options for meeting this requirement.

Use 3Play Media

The first and best captioning option is using 3Play Media.  LAM has a deposit account with 3Play Media to produce captions.  Contact Amy Carney or Katie Fearer for more information.

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.

YouTube's Automatic Captioning

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.