Who Benefits from Transcripts?

Users who are deaf or hard of hearing will benefit from a transcript of audio-only content, as well as users who are deafblind. Keep in mind that for the deafblind a transcript is the only means of access to the information and they will be using a refreshable braille output device. The Deafblind should be your target audience for transcripts.

    Other groups like people with hearing impairments, learning disabilities and language barriers benefit from transcripts as well.

      What is a Transcript?

      Transcripts are text-based html or an accessible document of another format such as (.txt).

        Not every type of alternative applies to each media type.  For example, video-only content does not require captions and an audio-description is not needed for audio-only content.

          Shapes, Locations and Sounds

          • Do not require knowledge of a shape because some users cannot perceive shape or size.
            • Don't: "Select the large, rectangular button."
            • Do: "Select the Submit button."

            • Do not require knowledge of an object's location.  With responsive design, items on the page move depending on the size of the viewers screen.

              Best Practices

              There is almost 100% overlap between the best practices for what to include in captions and transcripts.

              • Important visual events MUST be described in the transcript.
              • Transcripts MUST be verbatim for scripted content.
                • Transcripts SHOULD be verbatim for unscripted or live content (with the optional exception of stuttering or filler words -- like "um" -- when transcribing the filler words reduces reading comprehension of the transcript).
              • Important visual events MUST be described in the transcript.
              • Important background sounds MUST be conveyed in transcripts, preferably in [brackets] or (parentheses).
              • Speech that is spoken off-screen MUST be captured in the transcript.
              • The identity of the person speaking MUST be identified in transcripts.
              • Transcripts SHOULD use punctuation to convey emphasis whenever possible, rather than write extra text to explain the emphasis.
              • Transcripts MUST NOT reveal intentionally-withheld information in the content before the appropriate time.
              • Music SHOULD be identified by title and artist whenever possible in transcripts, unless doing so would be inappropriate to the content.
              • Important music lyrics SHOULD be included in transcripts, if relevant to the meaning of the content.
              • Transcripts SHOULD indicate when speech is whispered or mouthed.
              • When speech is inaudible or difficult to perceive clearly, the transcripts SHOULD say so, using neutral language.
              • Strong language SHOULD be retained and not edited out of transcripts, whenever possible, OR SHOULD be bleeped or muted to match style or content requirements of the intended audience or context (use bleep for profanity).

              Methods for presenting transcripts

              • Method 1: Place the transcript directly on the page with the audio or video player.
              • Method 2: Provide a link to the transcript.
              • Method 3: Provide an interactive transcript, allowing users to access specific places within the video or audio content.

              Interactive Transcripts

              Benefits to using interactive transcripts along with video and audio content.  Interactive transcripts allows users to search videos and navigate to anywhere in the video by selecting a sentence or a word in the transcript.