Accessibility and captions on WordPress

I advocate for accessibility, yet I have had videos on one of my websites for 2 years without captions. I truly believe that it is necessary to make everything in our society accessible to all of us. Inaccessibility creates distance, lack of communication, lack of access, lack of equity. When I realized I needed captions of videos of me teaching a number string on my other website numberstrings.com, I thought it would be fairly easy. I started a year ago, ran into problems, tried other solutions, tried other websites, tried captioning in YouTube, tried it in Amara, tried in in Transana, forgot my passwords, forgot about it, remembered, and started again but forgot how to use all the sites again. I finally figured it out and thought I would share for anyone having a hard time, like me. And also I will forget next time and now I can just look at this post! It still uses 3 separate webpages, but it is the simplest way I found.

  1. Transcribe the video. I ended up paying at Rev.com to do the transcriptions/captions. It was 26 dollars to do about 25 minutes of video.
  2. Check the captions before you download them. You can easily check the captions in Rev.com and change them before you download them. The ones from Rev.com were great, including nice descriptions of student’s sounds, etc. You want to watch the video and make sure who is speaking is clear, so I added somethings like [student off camera] to make it a little clearer for those using captions.  I took out student names (although I had permissions from all the families of the kids on this video).  I also had to fix some of the dialogue.
  3. Download the captions as a vtt file
  4. Go to Vimeo. I have a free account to do what I did, although they are constantly trapping me in pages that are trying to make me upgrade. Upload the videos.
  5. In Vimeo for each video, go to Settings, then Distribution, and then Subtitles.
    Upload your vtt file. Make sure to move the little toggle switch over so it lights up blue.
  6. Then you can embed the video into the WordPress site. I had to figure out the new Blocks system to do this.

Note: The captions for the first video I did in Amara (free). It took me a long time. And I couldn’t figure out how to connect the captions to the video. But now it seems much easier in Amara- I just downloaded my original captions as a vtt file and added them to Vimeo using the rest of the steps. I think all this technology is getting better. And we are getting better. I am sorry that it took me so long.

Happy captioning!

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