There’s a lot of work that goes in to planning a conference, seminar or webinar. There are many factors to take in to consideration to organize a successful event that makes your attendees leave feeling satisfied. One consideration that can often go unfulfilled is accessibility, and in particular, offering captions. Check out these six key benefits to captioning your webinar.
If you have any attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing, they’ll often struggle to hear what your fantastic speakers are saying without a means of access such as captions. And if these attendees don’t know what is being said, they won’t be satisfied with the webinar. With 1 in 6 people being affected by some degree of hearing loss, it’s important to accommodate these attendees just as much as your hearing attendees, so that everyone can access the information in each presentation.
2. “What did they just say?”
Have you ever been sitting in a meeting, in a cinema or at the theatre and turned to the person next to you for clarification of what has just been said? It’s easy to miss what someone has said, and captions give your attendees a second chance by allowing them to read what has just been said on screen. No more whispered chatter from the audience and greater comprehension is a definite a win-win!
3. Language Comprehension
If you’ve tried to learn another language, you’ll know how difficult it can be to pick up every word that someone is saying, often needing to hear a sentence for a second time to fully comprehend it. If any of your attendees speak English as an additional language, captions help improve comprehension and reduce anxiety.
As captions turn speech into text in real time, a transcript is created containing all dialogue that has been captioned. After the webinar, this transcript is then yours to own. You can make this available to your attendees as a nice free value add, or charge a small fee to help cover your overall costs. If you’re uploading a recording of the webinar online, you can even utilize the transcript to create closed captions. It’s up to you!
5. Increased Target Market
Let’s talk marketing. One-in-six people are affected by some degree of hearing loss. In the US 65 million people speak a language other than English at home, and in Canada 6.8 million people use a language other than English as their main language. This means that by making your webinar accessible to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have English as an additional language, you’re making it more attractive to many more potential clients than you would otherwise.
Inclusion, in disability advocacy, is a concept that promotes universal design solving accessibility issues. As a webinar provider, providing a service that allows inclusion for everyone, not only creates an accessible webinar, but it promotes a positive atmosphere and a greater level of respect for your brand.