What are captions?

Captions are text-based alternatives to multimedia content.  The spoken dialogue and sound effects from the original soundtrack are displayed on screen in real time as the video plays.

Why are captions important?

Captions present the same information that is provided either through audio-only content or audio content that is synchronized with video content.  Providing captions helps to ensure that the audio is available to individuals who are unable to access information presented in an audible format.

Captions are used to make audio content accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing and captions may also help those who may not be fluent in the language used in the audio content.

Captions vs. Subtitles

Both closed captions and subtitles are the text version of the spoken audio in a video. However, while subtitles involve translating the video's language into an alternate language, closed captions are in the same language as the audio.

Captions/Subtitles - W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

Open vs. Closed Captions

Captions are either open or closed. Open captions always are in view and cannot be turned off, whereas closed captions can be turned on and off by the viewer.

Captions & Audio Descriptions

Captions are the synchronized text equivalent of audio content from a video, film, television broadcast, live event, etc. Further, captions provide the same information in a text format that is provided through the audio presentation, including speaker identification and sound effects.

Live Event Captioning

Live captions convert audio dialogue and sounds into text that appears on a video in real time. They are commonly provided for events and meetings that are streamed over the internet or for in-person meetings.

Providing Live Captions for events

Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded)

An alternative for time-based media or audio description of the prerecorded video content is provided for synchronized media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such. (Level A)