Inclusive Hiring Practices: Captioning Training Videos

By: Verbit Editorial



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In 2021, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities was roughly twice the national average. One potential reason for this disparity is a lack of accessibility in standard hiring practices. Jobseekers with disabilities aren’t the only ones who benefit from more inclusive hiring processes. In fact, a 2018 study showed that businesses that hire people with disabilities could improve their productivity by as much as 72% and their profit margins by up to 30%.

In the current job market, it’s critical for business leaders to proactively offer accommodations for employees throughout each step of the hiring and onboarding process. As more companies embrace remote and hybrid work models, new hires will likely depend on training videos and virtual onboarding sessions. An easy way to improve the accessibility of these offerings is by providing accurate captions for digital training materials.

Captioning 101: The Basics

Captioning refers to the process of converting audio to text that displays on a screen with audio or video content. Captions convey the spoken text of a video, as well as additional audio elements like sound effects and music cues. There are a few different captioning styles to choose from when it comes to supporting your online content:

  • Closed Captions: Closed Captions (CC) are captions viewers can turn on or off at any time. The default setting won’t display these captions in videos, but it’s possible to enable or disable them with the click of a button. They often appear as white text within a black box that appears on screen during a video.  
  • Open Captions: Open Captions, or “baked in” captions differ from Closed Captions in that users cannot turn them on and off. These captions may have a similar appearance to closed captions. However, they are essentially hard-wired into a video and will remain a permanent part of the content.  
  • Subtitles: Some platforms and individuals tend to use the terms “Subtitles” and “Captions” interchangeably. However, there are some major differences between the two. Captions will include the spoken text of a video, as well as other non-speech audio elements like pauses, inaudible whispers and more. Subtitles, on the other hand, do not generally contain anything other than the spoken text. It can be beneficial to add subtitles to a video a viewer is watching in a non-native language. Unfortunately, subtitles alone tend to fall short when it comes to improving accessibility. Since the subtitle track does not convey the full scope of a video’s audio elements, it does not provide an equitable viewing experience for those who are Deaf or hard of hearing.
woman sitting on a table, smiling and looking at her laptop

How to Add Captions to a Training Video

Business leaders or HR professionals have a number of options when it comes to captioning training videos. Many popular video hosting sites like YouTube and Panopto have a convenient infrastructure for captioning content. It’s even possible to add captions to live training sessions on sites like Zoom.

Many of these platforms offer options for automatically captioning content. While this feature is convenient, auto-generated captions tend to miss the mark on accuracy. Captions must achieve a high level of accuracy to support accessibility guidelines like the Americans with Disabilities Act. As a result, users will want to explore other methods of captioning their videos.

YouTube, for example, allows creators to manually caption their video content by typing in captions word for word. However, this process can be extremely tedious and still does not necessarily yield the desired level of accuracy. That’s why YouTube and similar sites also offer creators the option of uploading professionally produced caption files directly to the platform.

woman sitting on a cafe table looking at her laptop and Captioning Training Videos

How to Get a Caption File

The first step in closed captioning training videos is creating an accurate caption file. Luckily, a professional captioning and transcription provider like Verbit makes this process quick and easy.

Users can simply upload their video to Verbit’s platform where proprietary Artificial Intelligence software creates the first draft. This initial transcript then undergoes review and editing by one of Verbit’s professional human transcribers. Finally, Verbit makes the file available for download in the user’s desired format.

Verbit also offers seamless integrations with platforms like Zoom and WebEx in order to provide live captioning services for training sessions and meetings that take place in real time. Once a video call has concluded, transcribers will review and edit the captions for future use to ensure the highest possible level of accuracy.

two women at a table looking at a tablet and smiling

Working with Verbit to Boost Inclusivity

The workplace and the workforce are constantly evolving. In recent years, managers and employees alike have become increasingly dependent upon virtual forms of communication. Offering training videos is a great way to ensure that all new employees receive the same information during the onboarding process regardless of whether they’re working remotely or on site.

Providing accurate captions for these videos also boosts training video accessibility for new hires of all backgrounds and abilities. Captions are vital for supporting the needs of employees who are Deaf or hard of hearing. However, they can also be a helpful tool for individuals with ADHD or auditory processing disorders. Additionally, captioning training videos makes the learning process more inclusive of trainees whose first language is something other than English.

Verbit’s team is also able to convert in-video captions to searchable transcripts. These transcripts can serve as a written account of the subject matter instructors discussed during a training session. Offering this information in a readable format provides a convenient reference tool that supports learning during and after training. The searchability of these transcripts can help save valuable time by making it easier for trainees to locate specific portions of a training session rather than having to scroll through an entire video.

Verbit offers a full suite of accessibility solutions that support the ever-changing needs of the modern workforce. Proactively offering tools like captioning, transcription, audio description and translation during the hiring and onboarding process can help business leaders attract and retain diverse talent. These solutions also demonstrate a company’s dedication to equity and inclusion. If accessibility is your priority, reach out today to learn how Verbit helps businesses offer inclusive experiences in the office and beyond.