Create ADA-Compliant Captions

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal antidiscrimination statute designed to ensure equal access to opportunities and benefits for qualified individuals with disabilities. In many state, government, and education institutions, videos must include ADA compliant captions. 

ADA compliancy tips:

The following are best practices for ADA compliant captions:

  • One to three lines of text appear onscreen all at once, stay there for three to seven seconds, and are then replaced by another caption.
  • Timed to synchronize with the audio.
  • Do not cover up graphics and other essential visual elements of the picture.
  • Require the use of upper and lowercase letters.
  • Use a font similar to Helvetica medium.
  • Have good resolution.
  • Include not more than 32-characters-per-line.

To check for compliancy, select the Captions options dropdown > Show non-compliant duration. This option highlights any captions in red whose duration is not between three and seven seconds.

Tips for writing captions:

  • Captions should be synchronized and appear at approximately the same time as the audio.
  • Words should be verbatim when time allows or as close as possible in other situations.
  • Captions should be accessible and readily available to those who need or want them.
  • Add music or other descriptions inside square brackets such as [music] or [laughter].
  • Captions should appear onscreen long enough to be read.
  • It is preferable to limit onscreen captions to no more than three lines.
  • Speakers should be identified when more than one person is onscreen or when the speaker is not visible.
  • Punctuation is used to clarify meaning.
  • Spelling is correct throughout the production.
  • Write out sound effects when they add to understanding.
  • All words are captioned, regardless of language or dialect.
  • Use of slang and accent is preserved and identified.
  • Use italics when a new word is being defined or a word is heavily emphasized in speech.
Title Category Level Format
000 - 0: Introduction Getting Started I Video
001 - 1: Make a great recording: Prepare, Script, Rehearse Getting Started I Video
002 - 2: Make a great recording: Select, Start, Pause Getting Started I Video
003 - 3: Editing essentials: Explore the Editor Getting Started I Video
004 - 4: Editing essentials: What You Really Need to Know Getting Started I Video
005 - 5: Editing essentials: Preview, Trim, Cut Getting Started I Video
006 - 6: Increase viewer understanding: Zoom, Pan, Bam Getting Started I Video
007 - 7: Increase viewer understanding: Annotations Getting Started I Video
008 - 8: Increase viewer understanding: Cursors & Clicks Getting Started I Video
009 - 9: Make your screencast stand out: Transitions Getting Started I Video
010 - 10: Make your screencast stand out: Animations & Video FX Getting Started I Video
011 - 11: Make your screencast stand out: Maintain Consistency Getting Started I Video
012 - 12: Create better audio: Mics, Recording, Audio FX Getting Started I Video
013 - 13: Share your screencast: The Great Export Getting Started I Video
014 - 14: Share your screencast: Screencast.com and YouTube Getting Started I Video
015 - Zooming: The Often Misunderstood Half-Holy Grail of Screencasting Quality Main Concepts I Video
016 - Editing Dimensions Basics Edit I Video
017 - Recording Tips Record I Written
018 - Keyboard Shortcuts Reference II PDF
019 - Add Interactive Hotspots to Your Video Additions I Written
020 - Composite Assets with the Mask Effect Effects II Written
021 - For Camtasia Studio 8 Users: Feature Comparison Chart Reference II Written
022 - Add a Device Frame Around Your Video Video FX II Written
023 - Apply an Animated Highlighter Effect Animations II Written
024 - Brand Your Video with a Watermark Additions II Written
025 - Captions Audio II Video/Written
026 - Change the Canvas Background Color Canvas II Written
027 - Choosing Dimensions for Quality Video Production Reference II Written
028 - Create ADA-Compliant Captions Audio II Written
029 - Create a Table of Contents for Video Navigation Additions II Written
030 - Create a Title Additions II Written
031 - Embed Video on a Web Page or Blog Share III Written
032 - Magnify the Cursor with Cursor Effects Cursor FX II Written
033 - Maintain Privacy with the Blur Annotation Annotations II Written
034 - Markers Edit II Written
035 - Record a PowerPoint or Keynote Presentation Record II Written
036 - Remove a Color from a Video Effects II Video/Written
037 - Replace a Section of Audio on the Timeline Audio II Written
038 - Save an Annotation for Reuse Annotations II Written
039 - Speed Up or Slow Down the Speed of a Clip Effects II Video/Written
040 - Working with the FX Drawer Effects II Written
041 - Connecting Your Mobile Device Mobile I Video
042 - Creating and Sharing Mobile Content with Windows Devices Mobile I Written
043 - Recording Your iOS 8 Device Mobile I Video

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