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Universal Design

This guide will assist you in applying the principles and practices of Universal Design to your shared and presented content.

Why Captions?

Why is media captioning an essential part of universal design? Look at who benefits:

  • people who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • people who speak English (or language of media) as a second language
  • people who have trouble understanding the audio due to sound quality, pace, accent
  • people who process information better by reading, or reading and listening simultaneously
  • people who are taking notes or studying the material presented
  • people who are viewing the video in a loud setting or a quiet setting
  • people who do not have headphones, or are unable to use or control volume on their device

DCMP Captioning Key

The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) produces the DCMP Captioning Keyknown to many professionals the holy grail of captioning best practices.

According to the DCMP's philosophy, to fulfill their intended purpose media captions must be:

      1. Synchronized: appearing at approximately the same time as the audio is delivered

      2. Accurate: equivalent in content and meaning to that of the audio, including speaker identification and relevant sound effects

      3. Available: consistently accessible to those who need or want them

More on Multimedia

How Do I Make Multimedia Accessible?University of Washington DO-IT Center

Captions, Transcripts, and Audio Descriptions - WebAIM Techniques

Multimedia Best Practices - Accessibility at Penn State University

Video below: "Captions: Improving Access to Postsecondary Education," from The UW DO-IT Center.