Category Archives: Accessibility

Captioning

Captioning involves converting the audio content of a live event or a recording into text that is displayed and synchronized with visual content, either at the bottom of the screen (closed captions) or in a separate window or display. Captioning enables hearing-impaired viewers to fully experience audiovisual content, can assist all viewers with comprehension, and enables viewing with volume off and in noisy environments. (More questions? See this captioning FAQ.)


Contents:

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Captioning Recordings

Captions for pre-recorded audio or video can be produced by automatic speech recognition (ASR) software or by human listeners. Although ASR-generated captions can help with comprehension and enable viewers to watch with sound muted or in noisy environments, they typically do not meet the 98% accuracy level required for ADA compliance without human editing.

Recordings must have ADA-compliant captions if:

You can use the college’s lecture capture and video-streaming service, Panopto, to produce ADA captions by:

  • Correcting the ASR captions that Panopto creates until they are at least 98% accurate.
  • Contracting with a third-party captioning service to produce and upload ADA-compliant captions for you.

See Captioning in Panopto for details.

Note: For questions about captions for DVDs or streaming video in Tri-Co library collections, please email library@brynmawr.edu.

Captioning Live Events

College policy requires event organizers to state that disability accommodations will be made upon request when advertising any college event, whether in-person or online. Captioning is one type of accommodation that could be requested.

  • If someone requests or you know that a participant needs captioning as a disability accommodation, arrange CART (Human-Generated) Captioning.
  • If no one requests or needs captioning as a disability accommodation you do not need to arrange CART captioning. If your event is online, consider using Live ASR (Computer-Generation) Captioning to assist with comprehension, enable viewing with sound muted and in noisy environments, or produce a transcript.

 

CART (Human-Generated) Captioning

Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) captions are produced by trained professionals who attend the event and type captions in real-time using special hardware and/or software platforms.

  • CART is the standard for disability accommodation and aims for 98% accuracy and above. The captioner must be able to hear speakers clearly to attain this level of accuracy. (See Improving Accuracy of Captions.)
  • CART is available for in-person and online events.
  • Services must be scheduled in advance; vendors may need up to 3 weeks’ lead time due to increased demand.
  • Zoom works well for online events, as it can show CART as subtitles in the meeting window. See Captioning in Zoom.
  • Access Services will schedule CART captioning for course meetings when needed for students with documented disabilities.
  • Other event organizers should schedule CART services themselves and ask providers to invoice them directly (not Access Services).

Two CART vendors are currently active in eMarket and have been used by campus event organizers:

Ai Media 
  • Service:Remote captioning
  • Fees:$79 per hour; 1 hour minimum, then billed in 15-minute increments
  • Scheduling lead time: 2-3 weeks before event
  • Cancellation policy: Cancel more than 24 business hours (one business day) in advance to avoid being billed for the total scheduled time.
  • How to schedule: Email the following information toschedule@acscaptions.com
    • Event title (class title)
    • Date (days of the week)
    • Start and end time
    • Emergency contact
    • Materials (slides, scripts, handouts, participant names, etc.) that help the captioner prepare
    • Billing point of contact (Important: Please direct bills to your department and not Access Services.)
Karasch & Associates:
  • Service: Remote audience CART (e.g., for Zoom event, etc.)
    • Fees: $125 per hour; 1 hour minimum, then billed in 30-minute increments
    • Scheduling lead time: Minimum 24 hours in advance; but contact as soon as possible, especially for complex events or those requiring specialized knowledge
    • Cancellation policy: Cancel more than 48 hours (two business day) in advance to avoid being billed for the total scheduled time. (For recurring classes, 24 hours in advance of a meeting.)
    • How to schedule: Email ksullivan@karasch.com.
    • Billing point of contact: Important: Please direct your bills to your department and not to Access Services.
  • Service: On-site CART
    • Fees: $175 per hour; 2 hour minimum, then billed in 30-minute increments
    • Scheduling lead time: Minimum 24 hours in advance; but contact as soon as possible, especially for complex events or those requiring specialized knowledge
    • Cancellation policy: Cancel more than 48 hours (two business day) in advance to avoid being billed for the total scheduled time. (For recurring classes, 24 hours in advance of a meeting.)
    • How to schedule: Email ksullivan@karasch.com
    • Billing point of contact: Important: Please direct your bills to your department and not to Access Services.

Live ASR (Computer-Generated) Captioning

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) software uses algorithms to analyze audio and generate caption text. ASR captions can be produced quickly and inexpensively and — if audio quality is decent — can produce text that is accurate enough to greatly assist listeners with comprehension, compensate for background noise, and enable viewing with volume muted. See Captioning in Zoom and Captioning in Microsoft Teams for instructions on how to turn on ASR captions.

IMPORTANT: ASR captions are not accurate or simultaneous enough for disability accommodation; use CART captioning instead. However, ASR captions are better than nothing and permissible for disability accommodation if CART services are unavailable.

Things You Can Do to Improve Live Caption Accuracy

Some simple best practices can improve the accuracy of both ASR- and human-generated captioning:

  • Use a good microphone, especially if there is background noise.
    • Use a headset or unidirectional USB desktop microphone instead of a laptop’s built-in microphone.
    • In an event space, make sure that the microphone provides sound to the captioner (and any recording software) as well as the room speakers.
  • Face the microphone and stay in range while speaking.
    • If you need to move around, a wired or wireless USB lavalier microphone may help.
    • However, you should still turn to face your audience when speaking so they can read your lips and facial cues.
  • Practice good public speaking skills.
    • Speak clearly and deliberately. (For most people this means slow down!)
    • Pause between phrases and sentences to allow the captioner and your listeners to catch up.
    • Practice speaking with Live Transcript turned on in Zoom to get a feel for proper pacing. Since ASR technology mirrors the contextualization process that human listeners use to understand speech, improvements in ASR accuracy should translate into improved listener comprehension as well.
  • Provide contextual information for listeners in advance and/or during the presentation:
    • Provide a CART service with an abstract of your presentation abstract (or the script if using) and a list of proper names, specialized vocabulary, or other tricky words in advance.
    • Include proper names, specialized vocabulary, and important points on slides so that listeners can hear AND read them simultaneously. Share slides or an abstract with the audience in advance whenever possible.
  • Repeat or summarize audience questions and comments before responding.
    • Repetition by a speaker ensures the captioner and audience members can both hear AND see your lips and facial cues, which may be necessary for full comprehension. (Audience microphones can help with audibility, but facial cues are typically lost.)
    • Speaker repetitions and summaries can be included in recordings even if privacy concerns or the logistics of securing consent prevent recording audience members directly.
    • Repetition/summarizing can help questioners or commenters feel heard and give them an opportunity to correct any misunderstandings.

Increase Caption and Chat Font Size in Zoom

If you are have difficulty viewing the chat messages or captions when using Zoom on a computer, you can increase the font size:

  1. Open the Zoom app on your computer
  2. Click on your profile picture or initials and choose Settings from the drop-down menu.

    1. Click Accessibility in the left sidebar.
    2. Adjust the size of Closed Captions by dragging the slider bar.
    3. Adjust the Chat Display Size by entering a percentage. During a meeting you can also adjust the Chat font size by pressing Ctrl+ and Ctrl- (PC) or Command+ and Command- (Mac) on your keyboard.

These options aren’t available in the Zoom mobile app, but you can use your device’s font and accessibility settings to control the size instead.

Web Accessibility Guidelines

Please contact Deb Alder, Access Services Director, (x7531) with questions or concerns about access to information on our website. Web Services and Access Services work together to assure that information on Bryn Mawr College web pages is as accessible as possible.

Types of Content

Audio and Video

Headings

Images

Links

Tables

Text

Titles

Common Accessibility Concerns

Web accessibility is of greatest concern for users who have visual or hearing impairments, or certain types of learning disabilities. Print impaired users typically access the web by enlarging text, using screen reading software that reads the text (and only the text) of a page to them aloud, or via a Braille output. Content like images or videos can be made more accessible to these users via textual descriptions.

Those with certain visual impairments, including color blindness, may have difficulty navigating a site if color alone (particularly colors with low contrast) is used to convey and organize information. Users with hearing impairments typically require captions or transcripts to access audio content.

Users with a variety of disabilities may use a keyboard or other devices, or voice recognition software, for navigation, rather than a mouse, and thus navigation should never rely on the ability to hover a mouse pointer over items. This “hover” functionality is also not available on touch screen devices.

Some common accessibility guidelines are presented below, with the more commonly used types of content listed first.

Text:

Text should be high contrast and easy to read (e.g. black text on a white background in a simple font, not white text on a yellow background in an unusual font, to use an extreme example). Fonts and colors are set in pages using the Bryn Mawr templates, but keep it in mind for any other pages you maintain. For more detailed information, please refer to the Web Accessibility Initiative’s readability guidelines and this A List Apart article on color contrast.

Text in PDF documents can be made accessible by scanning it using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology. Documents scanned only as images are not accessible. For more information about scanning and OCR, please review the Tech documentation on scanning or contact Access Services.

Links:

Links should be descriptive, clearly identifying where the link goes, and make sense when read out of context. “Click here” isn’t necessarily helpful to users who aren’t using a pointing device, particularly if they’re having the computer read the page to them quickly or skipping from link to link to find information. Descriptive links also aid all readers in understanding your content.

Helpful link: “Fall 2019 Course Listing.”
Less helpful: “Click Here for Fall 2019 Course Listing.”

Images that include a link should have alt text with a descriptive title for the link (e.g. an image of commencement that links to the schedule would include alt text “commencement schedule”) OR include a text version of the link. Image links should be used sparingly, if at all.

Read more about link text.

Titles:

Page titles should be specific to each page– this improves accessibility, helps all users identify their location within the site,  and it helps users find specific pages more effectively via Google and other search engines (so using specific titles may increase traffic to your pages as well!). For example, “Math Courses” helps a visitor who comes in via search understand that they are in the Math website, whereas “Courses” does not.

Headings:

Should be used in a hierarchical manner to help convey document structure. E.g. the largest headings should be used for page titles, smaller headings should be used for subsections. For more on headings and accessibility, please refer to WebAIM’s guide.

Images:

Do not make important text part of an image. If you must include text in an image, provide “alt” text which supplies the same information as the image. “Alt” text is “alternative” text, e.g. it provides an alternative version of the information available in an image. This text is then included as a part of the code for the image, and can be read by screen reading software. Drupal should request that you provide “alt” text when you add an image. Alternately, you can go back and add it by opening the Image Properties menu.

Read more about text within graphics.

Use the “alt” tag to describe important images for users who are unable to access images. Purely decorative images should not be described (leave the alt attribute blank), as descriptions of “decorative blue border” are superfluous. For example, the below photo might be described as “Photo of people working in a science lab.” This is a concise description, fine for photos that are primarily decorative but which you want to identify. If it is important for the reader to understand who the people are, what they look like, or what they are doing in the lab, that information should be included in your alt text.

Jie Cheng ‘16 with Assistant Professor Yan Kung in a science lab

More complex images, such as infographics, may require a text equivalent. For example, this admissions infographic links to a separate page with a plain text version of the data about the class.

Read more about creating accessible images.

Audio and Video:

Whenever possible, links to a text-based transcript should be provided, particularly for important information such as academic procedures or course materials. For interesting but non-essential audio or video content, please provide descriptions (e.g. “A video of students performing King Lear”) so that users who are unable to access that content know what is there. Think about whether you need to provide more extensive description (e.g. fully captioning audio or video, or providing transcripts) of content for your site’s visitors.

Tables:

Tables should not be used for layout purposes, e.g. to position text or images in a specific place on a page. Pages with layout tables may display incorrectly or differently in some browsers (especially on mobile devices), and may create accessibility problems. Screen reading software will, unless specifically directed to do otherwise, simply read the text from left to right and top to bottom, which may be confusing if the tables are intended to display text in separate columns. If you need help laying out your content in a particular way, please contact Web Services for assistance.

Tables should be used to present information that needs to be displayed in table form, e.g. data, course lists, and so forth. These should include column and row headers to improve accessibility for users of screen reader software. If you need to improve the accessibility of a table, please contact Web Services.

For more on tables and accessibility, please refer to WebAIM’s guide.

Sources:

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative’s Quick Tips to Make Accessible Websites

Web Accessibility in Mind

Installing Read&Write Software

Read&Write software is free for current community members to download and install on any College- or personally-owned computer or tablet. It is highly recommended to use the Chrome extension of Read & Write.

To install Read&Write:

Read&Write Chrome Extension

  1. Open Google Chrome and navigate to the Chrome Web Store.
  2. Enter “read and write” in the search box in the top left corner of the page.
  3. Locate “Read&Write for Google Chrome” under extensions, then select the Add to Chrome button.
  4. Select the Add extension button in the pop-up window near the Chrome address bar.
  5. Click on the Read&Write icon (a purple puzzle piece) in the top right corner of Chrome.
  6. After being prompted to sign in to your Bryn Mawr College Microsoft account, select the Allow button.

Read&Write for Mac

  1. Visit https://www.texthelp.com/en-us/products/read-write/ and click Try Now
  2. Select Mac OS when presented with a gray bar to choose your operating system
    • Please see Figure A
  3. Click on the Install button to start your download of Read&Write
  4. Once the download is complete, click on the file (read&write.dmg) to start the installation
  5. Drag Read&Write to your Applications folder when prompted
  6. Navigate to your Applications folder and launch Read&Write
  7. Follow the first step up instructions Read&Write provides via pop up windows
    • Note: You will need to follow the instructions for enabling additional features under Security and Privacy to access all of the features Read&Write provides
  8. Click OK to allow Read&Write access to control System Events
  9. Select Sign in with Microsoft and log in with your full Bryn Mawr email address and password to activate your Read&Write license
    • Please see Figure B
  10. Once you have signed in successfully and the Read&Write toolbar pops up, the installation and set up are complete.
  11. Please visit https://support.texthelp.com/help/readwrite-7fdf2ac for additional information about Read&Write

 

Read&Write for Windows

  1. Visit https://www.texthelp.com/en-us/products/read-write/ and click Try Now
  2. Select Windows when presented with a gray bar to choose your operating system
    • Please see Figure A
  3. Click on the Install button
  4. Select Read&Write for Windows – US in the drop down menu to start your download
  5. Once the download is complete, click on the file (read%26write.exe) to start the installation
  6. When prompted, click Yes to allow Read&Write to make changes to your device
  7. A Read&Write installation wizard will pop up and guide you through the terms of service and the installation.
  8. Once the installation window closes, navigate to your desktop and click on the Read&Write icon to launch the software
  9. When prompted, select Sign in with Microsoft and log in with your full Bryn Mawr email address and password to activate your Read&Write license
    • Please see Figure B
  10. Once you have signed in successfully, the installation and set up are complete.
  11. Please visit https://support.texthelp.com/help/readwrite-7fdf2ac for additional information about Read&Write

 

Read&Write for iOS

  1. Visit https://www.texthelp.com/en-us/products/read-write/ and click Try Now
  2. Select iOS when presented with a gray bar to choose your operating system
    • Please see Figure A
  3. Click on the Install button to be redirected to the App Store
  4. Click Get in the App Store to start your download of Read&Write
    • Note: You will need an Apple account to download this app
  5. Once the download is complete, click Open to launch the app
  6. Click Start Setup Wizard when the prompt comes up and follow the instructions to complete your set up
  7. When prompted, select Yes I am an existing Read&Write customer and click Next step
  8. When prompted for a serial number, navigate back to this set of instructions using the iOS device on which you are setting up Read&Write and click this activation link
  9. Clicking the activation link will redirect you to your Read&Write app to activate the software and guide you through the rest of your set up
  10. Once you reach the page to configure your theme and speech settings, your set up is complete
  11. Please visit https://support.texthelp.com/help/readwrite-7fdf2ac for additional information about Read&Write

 

Read&Write for Android

  1. Visit https://www.texthelp.com/en-us/products/read-write/ and click Try Now
  2. Select Android when presented with a gray bar to choose your operating system
    • Please see Figure A
  3. Click on the Install button to be redirected to the Google Play Store
  4. Click Install in the Google Play Store to start your download of Read&Write
    • Note: You will need a Google account to download this app
  5. Once the download is complete, click on Open to launch the app
  6. Click Start Setup Wizard when the prompt comes up and follow the instructions to complete your set up
  7. When prompted for a serial number, navigate back to this set of instructions using the Android device on which you are setting up Read&Write and click this activation link
  8. Clicking the activation link will redirect you to your Read&Write app to activate the software and guide you through the rest of your set up
  9. Once you reach the page to configure your theme and speech settings, your set up is complete
  10. Please visit https://support.texthelp.com/help/readwrite-7fdf2ac for additional information about Read&Write

 

Figure A:

Figure B:

 

For help installing Read&Write visit or contact the Help Desk: Canaday first floor / help@brynmawr.edu / 610-526-7440.

For more information about ways to use Read & Write contact Grace Cipressi, gcipressi@brynmawr.edu, or visit http://www.texthelp.com/North-America.