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Why You Should Create Searchable Audio and Video

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On April 23, 2005, Jawed Karim posted a video of himself online. Although Me at the zoo was not the first video to be uploaded to the web, nor were its 19 seconds exceptionally remarkable, the footage would make history by being the first entry on YouTube. Since that watershed moment, billions of videos have been shared on the platform, with an estimated five hundred hours of video being uploaded to the site every minute. Add to that videos on other social media, news, education and entertainment sites and you are looking at an astounding mass of footage – all of which requires captioning.

To ensure compliance with regulations and avoid repercussions, companies are racing to get their videos captioned or transcribed as quickly and as accurately as possible. While maintaining online standards is critical for any media producer, it is by no means the only reason to transcribe and caption content.

Here are three additional benefits organizations can stand to gain:

 

1. Reach more people

Transcriptions broaden your audience by enabling individuals with hearing impairments or auditory processing difficulties to participate in the experience. Non-native speakers also appreciate captions and transcriptions, to help clarify what they’re hearing. In addition, people are increasingly turning to transcriptions while they consume video content in noise-prohibitive environments. Let’s say someone is stuck on a bus without headphones but still wants to catch the latest episode of their favorite podcast, transcribed audio files make that possible.

 

2. Stand out by being searchable

From the moment you began reading this sentence, over 60,000 search queries have been entered into Google. That’s tens of thousands of valid reasons to create transcripts for your audio and video files, namely to enable searchability and boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines can’t filter through audio or video files to match them with search terms; they work exclusively through words. That’s where transcripts come in, as they create searchable and indexable audio content that is more easily discovered by search engine algorithms, making your site more accessible and allowing more people to engage with your content.

 

3. Make your site user-friendly

Beyond search engines, audio transcripts also make your content searchable within your own website. Usually, internal website searches only return results if the query is a perfect match to your media’s title or tags. But, with a transcript, users are able to discover all content related to their search terms just as they would using a search engine, increasing both time spent on your site and engagement. The result is a more intuitive and user-friendly website experience.

 

Creating searchable audio transcriptions doesn’t need to be a hassle. A robust transcription and captioning platform will allow users to create searchable audio transcripts easily and quickly. Moreover, a solution that leverages both artificial and human intelligence guarantees the highest standards for both accuracy and speed so you can broaden your reach with optimized, searchable media content.

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Is Your Campus Physically Accessible?

Welcome back to part three of our blog series on increasing campus accessibility. So far, we’ve covered the importance of both inclusive academics and online accessibility. In this latest chapter, we will delve deeper into the many facets of physical accessibility, and its key role in the bigger picture.

“In case of fire use stairs”. Plastered on walls in most public buildings, it’s a familiar sign that many of us pass by without a second glance.

But, for individuals with disabilities, this can serve as a constant reminder that most buildings are not built with accessibility in mind. Often, college campuses are no exception.

lack of accessibility

Since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, U.S. schools are responsible for making their courses, campuses, activities and services accessible to people with disabilities. A major component of this is physical access to college buildings, transportation, housing, and other facilities. This is especially critical given that, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 6% of college undergrads have some kind of physical disability, translating into thousands of students that require accommodations.

Inclusivity in Action: The University of North Georgia has a dedicated ADA committee that includes students with disabilities as key contributors to determine priorities, provide direct feedback and help implement changes quickly and effectively on campus.

Students with disabilities require physical access to classrooms, libraries, dining areas – basically, everywhere a student would want to go. Plans for access should be included in building and landscape architecture, including ramps and doors with automatic openers, countertops at various heights in student service areas, and dorm rooms with accessible bathrooms. The condition of these facilities should be continuously monitored, as something as small as a broken button or handle can mean all the difference to a person with a physical limitation.

Here are some other important factors to consider:

  • Modified elevators
  • Curb cuts along sidewalks
  • Lowered water fountains
  • Lowered toilets, sinks, and other restroom features
  • Audible crossing signals at intersections
  • Accessible van parking spaces in parking lots

Inclusivity in Action: Hofstra University in Long Island, NY was specifically designed with wheelchair users in mind. They are renowned for their unique disabilities program and campus, which features a wheelchair-accessible transit system in addition to academic and career coaching, assistive technology, and accessible housing.

 

Universities, particularly those in smaller towns, aren’t just places where students engage in higher learning. They are often central to the entire community, with libraries, coffee shops, and concert halls open to the public at large. It is especially important for accessibility to trickle down to all locations on campus, not just those involved directly in academics, as these schools are venues for community gatherings, speakers, performances and other events. Beyond just school, physical accessibility to campus facilities affects the quality of life for entire communities.

 

We’ve discussed the importance of inclusive academics through universal design, and we’ve taken a deep dive into the most crucial aspects of both online and physical accessibility. Up next, we’ll conclude our blog series by discussing how to implement these changes at all organizational levels. Coming soon!

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