[Athen] Captioning, Transcripts and a Teachable moment

Shelley Haven rmhaven at stanford.edu
Wed Feb 4 11:50:55 PST 2009

Wow, John -- that's fantastic! Congratulations
on your success in helping make this possible. I
will definitely check it out and pass it along.

- Shelley Haven



>Many of you already know that I am passionate

>about getting transcripts and captioning added

>to on-line videos. I've always tried to frame

>the dialogue around the greater benefit

>captioning/transcripts provide to all users, not

>just those in a particular disabled community.


>Back before Christmas, I was approached by a web

>developer who was working on a project for NASA:

>an out-reach program geared towards students at

>all levels (K-4 through "higher ed") that

>essentially encouraged students to use NASA

>Videos and create "remixes". Since NASA is

>clearly a Section 508 respondent, the preview

>videos on NASA's site required captioning

>(Section 508 - b. Equivalent alternatives for

>any multimedia presentation shall be

>synchronized with the presentation), but the

>developer was curious what to do regarding the

>videos being offered as downloads. Somehow, she

>ended up IM'ing me at work and we had an

>interesting exchange.


>After a bit of discussion, I proposed that they

>(NASA) include numerous 'pieces' of digital data

>in a zip file, and some of those bits would be

>the time-stamped transcript and 'flat'

>transcript, so that the students would have

>those pieces of the total 'picture' to use and

>remix at the same time that they mixed and

>mashed their visual media.


>NASA agreed!


>Late last week, the site was launched - a review

>page can be found here:


>. While a "How to Add Captioning" tutorial is

>still not available (note to self - contact the

>contractor to discuss), "on-it" educators at

>least now have the tools to take the ball and

>run with it: not only will students be learning

>about space related topics, but the potential

>for learning 'multi-media production' (which is

>clearly also part of the bigger picture) that is

>inclusionary (through the addition of captions)

>exists - students can be taught that adding

>captions is simply part of the bigger production

>work-flow. The current 'hard part' - getting

>the transcript - has been done already by NASA,

>so remixing and adding 'new' caption files to

>the 'new' videos is relatively easy and



>Or at least, that is my hope. For those of you

>reading this and who are involved in teaching,

>alt media production or a related endeavor, I

>ask that maybe you help push that ball along as

>well. NASA has given us a great starting point,

>but we, accessibility advocates, need to help

>highlight that great start, and help other

>educators seize that start point and work it.

>It would be *SO COOL* to start seeing these

>Student/NASA remixes on YouTube with captions

>(YouTube now supports .srt caption files), so

>let's go do it!






>See also:

>· Stanford Captioning:


>· WebAIM - Web Captioning Overview:


>· YouTube - Add captions or subtitle

>tracks to your videos:


>· JW FLV Player (A sweet little FLASH

>based player that scores incredibly high marks

>for accessibility supporting Closed Captions

>*AND* descriptive audio):


>· Easy YouTube Player (Christian

>Heilmann's remixed YouTube player):


>· Captioning Media for iTunes:




>(Hey listees - have any other great resources? Post them to the list!)




>Athen mailing list

>Athen at athenpro.org


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