Accessibility in Video

If you’ve been paying attention so far, you may be afraid to hear the accessibility story for web video. Don’t be! It’s actually not that bad, considering. All of the major players—QuickTime, Windows Media, RealPlayer, and Flash Player—support captioning. In fact, captioning is so well supported that there are scads of different formats to choose from!

Oh, wait. That’s not a good thing. But it could be a lot worse.

The reason captioning is such a mature technology is simple: it’s been around for decades. The French Chef, in 1971, was the first program to be “open-captioned,” meaning that captions were overlaid on (or “burned into”) the source so that all viewers could see them. The Captioned ABC News ...

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