Marketing and Communications Specialist The Described and Captioned Media Program Spartanburg, South Carolina
Research has shown that the use of multimedia is beneficial to all students. Educational videos are uniquely suited to take students on impossible field trips, introduce them to new people and cultures, and bring great literature to life. However, most educational videos are not accessible to students with hearing and vision loss. When a video is not captioned or described students who are deaf or blind not only miss out on a learning opportunity they also become more isolated from their peers.
Many mainstream teachers will continue to use inaccessible video thinking that captions and description are not that big a deal. Other teachers may avoid video all together so as to avoid the issue of accessibility. Neither of these is an acceptable solution.
In 2020 media gained a new importance in education when all learning went remote. Many teachers immediately jumped to sources such as YouTube for content. However, they soon discovered that not all video is created equal. YouTube videos may have good content but most are not captioned and rely on automatic captioning which is inaccurate at best. And almost no YouTube videos contain description for students who are blind. This lack of accessibility left students with sensory disabilities without access.
Captions and description were created for students who are deaf and blind; however, they are beneficial for all students. Using accessible media support universal design for learning and enhances the experience for everyone. Research shows that captions improve reading skills and description improves vocabulary.
The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) is a federally funded program, which provides accessible educational media and much more. Parents, teachers, and professionals can create an account with DCMP and use accessible educational videos in the classroom and at home.
This presentation will discuss the benefits of accessible media, the importance of quality captions and description, and how DCMP media meets state educational standards.
1. Participants will learn how captions and audio description benefit all students.
2. Participants will explore how to evaluate the quality of captions and audio description.
3. Participants will discuss uses for video in the classroom and be able to choose appropriate, accessible media from the DCMP library.