Captioning (also known as subtitling) is the process of creating a text-based alternative to spoken word content. If you think about captioning, there is a good chance that you assume that they are for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, right? While this is true, closed captions and live captions can also be hugely beneficial to quite a few different groups of people within our diverse society. Here are a few of the unexpected beneficiaries of captioning:

1. Children

Children seem like a bit of an odd group to benefit from captions. If you have children, you may be thinking, “But my kids have perfect hearing…” While this may be so, closed captions have been proven to increase language comprehension in children. By turning on closed captions when your child is watching television, you’ll be helping them pick up on new words and correct spelling much more quickly and effectively than without the captions.

2. People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Captioning can also prove highly beneficial for people with ASD, especially in an education setting. While a student with autism may not have any problems with the course content itself, there may be other barriers to access. Captions can assist with audio processing difficulties, as well as bring ease of understanding and focus to students with autism.

3. People who speak English as an additional language

As captions provide a greater level of language comprehension, they can greatly assist those who are not native English speakers. Additionally, in a scenario such as a conference where live captioning can be utilised, the captions will give attendees who are not native English speakers a second chance to catch any unfamiliar or missed words spoken by presenters.

4. People with mobility impairments

For some people with mobility impairments, taking notes can be a struggle, especially in the workplace or in higher education. Through live captioning, users can receive a transcript following their lecture or meeting so that they have complete notes without needing to rely on any colleagues or classmates to provide their notes.

5. Marketers and Social Media Personalities

Closed captioning your videos on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube can be beneficial in capacities other than accessibility. As discussed in our Facebook closed captioning blog, adding closed captions to your videos can increase reach, searchability, video completion rates and engagement levels.

6. Teachers

Applying the power of captioning in the classroom is the whole premise behind our teacher development program, Visible Classroom! By captioning everything said by a teacher in their classroom, we can provide a means for self-evaluation and professional development.

7. Everyone!

Captioning can be of great benefit to all! You might be watching a movie with a tricky accent or one where the dialogue is too soft and sound effects are too loud. You might be at the gym trying to play along with Who Wants to be a Millionaire despite the TV being muted. You process information more effectively when reading compared to listening. Captions can be beneficial in many ways! 

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