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SXSW Interactive 2014

A Hidden Gem: Captioning as Universal Design

There is an increasing number of videos, podcasts, webinars that make millions of people left out unless they are accessible via good quality captions and transcripts. It is not only deaf and hard of hearing people who need captioning access, but also many others such as foreign language speakers, remedial readers, people in noisy/quiet places, those having learning difficulties or having a hard time with foreign accents. Businesses also benefit from captioning as it improves user experience and SEO of their aural information and attracts more loyal customers.

Sveta will dispel common myths about captioning and discuss case studies to show that it goes beyond universal access and can be enjoyed by anyone regardless of hearing abilities. The talk will be signed by the deaf speaker, voiced by interpreters, and captioned in real time as a great example of how information can be accessed in many ways other than just via audio. Let's think outside of the ears!

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  1. What are communication access services available today for deaf and hard of hearing people?
  2. What are examples of using real-time captioning services in various settings?
  3. How can captioning boost the search engine optimization of a website?
  4. How CART (communication access real time translation) and transcription services work and why they need to be of good quality?
  5. What is a business case for captions and transcripts that goes beyond universal access?


  • Svetlana Kouznetsova, Web/UX Designer and Accessibility Specialist, freelancer


Svetlana Kouznetsova, Web/UX Designer and Accessibility Specialist, freelancer

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