MCCC Knowledge Base

Closed Captioning Guidelines


Closed Captioning Guidelines

Use the following guidelines when creating the video closed captioning. Please note that this checklist is provided as a guide for accessibility and does not ensure full ADA compliance.

  • Accurate: Captions must match the spoken words in the dialogue. Do not paraphrase and do not use synonyms or replace actual dialogue.
  • Complete: Captions must run from the beginning to the end of the program to the fullest extent possible.
  • Synchronous: Captions must coincide with their corresponding spoken words and sounds to the greatest extent possible.
  • Accurate Spelling: Use proper spelling. You may need to research and confirm correct spelling of people’s names, places, course specific vocabulary, etc.
  • Grammar and Punctuation: Sentence case should be used to make the captions easier to read. Punctuation is important for providing maximum clarity. If you can, you should portray speech descriptions with punctuation. For example, if someone is shouting, rather than transcribing, “(SHOUTING) Hi,” you can instead write “Hi!” Using an exclamation point takes up much less space in the caption frame, is quicker to read, and is much clearer for the reader.
  • Representation of numbers and formulas: Represent numbers and formulas properly. If there is any question, ask the faculty member via email for the proper way to display the numbers or formulas.
  • Display of Captions: Captions must be displayed on the screen at a speed that can be read by viewers.
  • Stumbling over words or false starts: Use good judgment here. For example, don't use repetitive "um's" or if somebody stumbles over their words, it is OK not to include the stumbles.
  • Properly placed: Captions should not block other important visual content on the screen, overlap one another or run off the edge of the video screen.
  • Non-Speech Sounds: It’s essential to communicate non-speech sounds in captions. For example, if there is music playing, you would need to include that. Non-speech sounds are typically denoted with [square brackets.]
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