Captioning? Don’t Settle for Anything Less Than Fast Turnaround Time

By: Sarah Roberts

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Most people become frustrated after waiting at a traffic light for just 25 seconds. Research strongly indicates that modern humans expect unrealistically rapid results. The Internet, two-day shipping, streaming services and the ability to download entertainment on-demand are contributing to an incredibly impatient population.

However, there are times when people are right to expect fast turnaround times. For millions of Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, captions and transcripts are needed to make school, work and daily environments accessible to them. While patience is a virtue, no one should ask people with disabilities to endure long wait times for the tools that offer them equal access and the ability to participate. Fortunately, modern technology makes it possible for schools and businesses to offer these services faster than ever before.

Delayed Captions Result in a Lack of Accessibility

Closed caption services are an essential accessibility tool. In fast-paced learning and corporate environments, they make or break the ability for Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to participate. To ensure equity, students, corporate employees and consumers should all be presented with opportunities to view video content with captions. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also holds schools and businesses accountable when accessibility is not offered.
A wrist watch showing the hands of the watch is moving fast

For example, think of a lecturer who shows a video while speaking or sends it out to participants without the captions. Even if the lecturer captions the content or provides it with captions days later, the individuals who rely on captions aren’t provided with equal opportunities as their peers. The ADA covers employee accommodations, public services and consumers, and the thresholds for forgiveness are much lower.

Simply put, delayed access means lack of access. This type of unequal treatment is unacceptable and may indicate a lack of adherence to the ADA. For some content, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other laws or regulations may create captioning requirements with strict time limits for adding this essential feature. Regardless of the potential legal repercussions of delayed captions, offering prompt access for people with disabilities should be a priority for educational institutions, businesses and public entities alike.

How Fast is Fast When it Comes to Captions and Transcription?

Verbit’s leadership takes captioning and transcription needs seriously. It therefore offers live automatic captioning for streaming events and Zoom transcription services to offer accommodations for virtual conferences. If content is pre-recorded, Verbit can complete and deliver captions or transcriptions in just four hours. AI-powered captioning and transcribing software helps streamline the process to significantly improve efficiency and turnaround times to offer accessible environments without delay.

Compared to the industry standard, Verbit captioning and transcription services are about ten times faster. Professionals using the service can not only provide access quickly, they also save significant time themselves by outsourcing what would otherwise be quite time consuming and manual captioning and transcription work.

Fast Turnaround Shouldn’t Mean Accuracy is Sacrificed

As more schools, businesses and media producers understand the consequences of delays to accessible content, some are still considering automatic and free tools. These automatic speech recognition, or ASR, tools are often built into the platforms they’re using, but the outputs are often highly inaccurate. In many scenarios the ASR technology alone cannot offer the appropriate level of accuracy to guarantee access.

Verbit’s captioning and transcription services rely on sophisticated artificial intelligence, but also another layer of fact checking offered by professional human transcribers who ensure that the final product is 99%+ accurate. Even with this extra layer, users are delivered with these accurate captions both live and in post-production settings still within the 4-hour time frame.

Free ASR tools often fail at detecting accents and complicated verbiage. Verbit’s technology excels in these challenging environments, especially when its users pre-upload unique industry or academic language into the system to train it for their specific needs. This pre-uploading feature, which isn’t delivered by ASR tools, results in quicker delivery of accurate captions and transcripts.

Verbit’s high-tech captioning and transcription services make it easier than ever to provide access to individuals with disabilities, in a way that meets both ADA and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) guidelines. Complying with the latest WCAG standards is a great way to offer access and ensure that content meets quality standards. With ADA lawsuits on the rise, university and business leaders simply can’t afford to offer anything other than accessible environments without delay.

For more information on AI captioning, transcription, audio description and the quick turnaround times provided, contact Verbit.