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.