Closed Captions Legal Obligations
At Capital Captions, we provide closed caption services for companies and individuals, helping to ensure that deaf and hearing impaired audiences have full access to online or broadcast content.
Closed Caption Regulation Codes
In the UK, the Equality Act 2010 refers to the provision of television access services, stipulating that ‘reasonable adjustments’ are made to ensure that disabled viewers are not left at a disadvantage.
Broadcasters, regulated by Ofcom, are held accountable to both the Equality Act 2010 and Section 303 of the Communications Act of 2003. Enforced, and overseen by Ofcom, Section 303 relates to the ‘Provision for the deaf and visually impaired’.
The section places responsibility upon Ofcom to create and update a code to ensure accessibility is effectively met by broadcasters. Ofcom also must ensure, standardized, structured deadlines for compliance. Similarly, ATVOD (the Authority for Television and Video On Demand Services) in the UK co-regulates editorial content for on-demand services.
Closed Caption Regulations in Practice
Whether you are a licensed public service channel, a digital TV service or you are providing licensed television content services, in the event that your subtitles fail, Ofcom stipulates a formal apology be written so it’s absolutely crucial for your reputation to both the media general public and the media industry as a whole that your subtitles are accurate, reliable and delivered on time and ready for your audience.
At Capital Captions, we work with traditional offline subtitle and closed caption methods. We do not use dictation software or stenography but rather hire qualified and experienced subtitlers and transcriptionists to work within specialist areas.
For instance, medical, financial, sports and promotional videos, etc; after the scripts are typed out using Intelligent Verbatim (for ease of reading), they are then accurately timed (to within 1/100 seconds), formatted to your requested style and as required, either burned onto your video or delivered independently.
What Closed Captions Include
It’s important to also understand that closed captioned services should be used for broadcast purposes, as opposed to subtitles which are often more targeted for foreign language audiences. Much of the description and nuance present in closed captions are entirely absent in subtitles. Below are some of the formatting and style aspects of closed captions which are considered mandatory.
Closed captions include:
- Colour contrast of onscreen text
- Any music to be indicated by the ‘#’ symbol
- Sound effects to be described
- Speakers who can be identified
- Off-screen speakers to be included
- Tone of voice to be preserved through the correct use of punctuation
- Speech style to be indicated through description in closed brackets, also includes whispers
- Intelligent verbatim style for ease of reading
If you would like more information regarding our closed caption services e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org