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Ensure your content is hitting its accessibility mark

14th December 2022

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Inclusion and accessibility remain important topics as businesses and industries around the world expand their focus on developing accessible products and solutions. The media and entertainment industry is no different as there continues to be a greater (and welcome) push for accessibility and accessible communications across the M&E landscape, including within the broadcast, cable, and streaming TV sector.

As viewer expectations evolve, captions, subtitles, transcripts, and audio description, among other access services, are no longer considered a luxury and now are an expected part of audio or video content.

Broadcasters, content creators, and production houses are finding that by making their content more accessible they not only satisfy government rules and regulations but also connect with more viewers, create a bigger buzz for their programs, and ensure that all viewers can enjoy their content.

Streamlined Access

Though there are many behind-the-scenes components that make up good captioning, transcription, subtitling, and audio description, securing professional accessibility services doesn’t need to be complicated.

A simple way to ensure that your content is hitting its accessibility mark (and its largest audience) is to work with a professional accessibility provider. Working with an experienced accessibility provider can save time, simplify workflows, eliminate stresses, and, in many instances, reduce costs.

Larger providers typically offer a broad range of services — captioning, description, subtitling, dubbing, and foreign language translation — thereby eliminating the need to go the piecemeal route and search for different services from different companies.

Getting all your accessibility needs from one provider means working with one point of contact and one billing department, and most importantly, receiving consistent quality in a single workflow from deliverable to deliverable and from project to project. Using one accessibility vendor often saves money, as many offer volume discounts for larger projects or when customers order multiple services.

Experienced providers understand the industry (and the shifting deadlines, quick turnarounds, and fire drills that go along with it), and often have answers to questions before they are asked. They work as a partner and can walk you through all the processes and requirements.

The Right Partner

There are several video accessibility vendors out there, and you want to make sure to choose one that best fits your needs. Below are items to consider before signing your accessibility partner:

  • Service Offerings: Does the provider offer a full range of services — captioning, audio description, subtitles, and transcripts? Do they offer captions for live and prerecorded content? Do they have industry experience?
  • Quality: Does the provider guarantee accuracy, and meet captioning standards and audio description guidelines? Are the captions created by human transcribers or by automatic speech recognition (ASR) programs? If human, what sort of training do captioners receive? If ASR, what sort of training does the engine receive? What sort of quality control does the provider offer? Do the captions include sound effects, lyrics, speaker IDs, and appropriate punctuation?
  • Ordering: It is important to understand how you send files to the vendor and how you receive the completed work. Can the files be uploaded or sent directly to the vendor? Is the upload secure? Can you download the finished files just as easily? Will someone walk you through the process.
  • Workflow: How are the deliverables created? What is their process for creating captions and audio description? Can they deliver the finished files in different formats? For live captioning, how do they ensure uptime and resolve discrepancies?
  • Flexibility: Can the vendor work on tight deadlines and meet quick turnaround times? Do they have the staff and capacity to handle rush projects?
  • Cost/Billing: Costs can fluctuate depending on the size of the project, services needed, and turnaround time, among other things. Are there any additional fees? How does the vendor handle its billing and invoicing?
  • Customer Support: Will the vendor be available for technical support and any questions that come up during the ordering process or once the final files have been delivered? Is 24/7 customer support available? What’s the best way to connect the vendor — email, phone, or online chat?
  • Experience: Has the vendor done this work before? Do they understand the industry? Are they familiar with accessibility rules and requirements?

It is important to do your research when choosing an accessibility vendor. Choosing an experienced, reliable, and professional provider can go a long way towards creating peace of mind for you and ensuring your content reaches its entire audience.

Get in touch with the Take 1 team to discuss your accessibility requirements.