Millions of people worldwide suffer from some type of hearing or visual impairment. Communication support services, such as closed captioning, subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH), audio description or sign language interpreting make it easier for people with a hearing or visual impairment to integrate and enable them to fully enjoy multimedia content for cinema, TV and VOD platforms, video tutorials, online training platforms, corporate videos, conferences and discussions, among others.
SeproTec provides specific accessibility services by adapting multimedia content and making it more accessible to the entire audience and, in so doing, complying with international regulatory parameters.
Closed captioning (CC)
Closed captions enable the viewer to visualize content without sound, and to follow the entire story as though they were hearing it.
Closed captions are texts of a video soundtrack that appear while it is being played. What makes closed captions different from subtitles is that, in addition to the dialogs, they include descriptive information about who's talking, as well as about any relevant sound that might help the viewer follow the scene, such as laughter, applause, backing music or the lyrics of a song playing in the background, among others.
Closed captions make content accessible to people with hearing difficulties and improve their experience as viewers. In many countries closed captions are mandatory by law.
Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, (SDH and HoH)
Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH and HoH) differ from closed captions in several ways. The most important difference lies in the encoding system used and, therefore, in the possibility of playing the content on high-definition devices.
In the same way as closed captions help people who are not deaf or hard of hearing, SDH make the content more accessible for a wide range of people, because:
Differences between closed captions and SDH or HoH subtitles
- They improve the understanding of people who do not speak the content language fluently
- They help those viewers with an attention deficit disorder or cognitive impairment when it comes to concentrating on the video
- They help viewers to better understand people with strong accents
- They improve the watching experience in environments that make listening difficult
||They are shown as a white text upon a black strip.
They are shown using the same sized font as the translation subtitles.
They usually appear in colors to differentiate who’s speaking.
||They can be aligned on different parts of the screen, which makes them useful for identifying who’s speaking, superimposing conversations and avoiding interfering with important on-screen activities.
They are usually centered and locked in the lower third of the screen.
There are certain effects, such as relevant sounds simultaneous to the dialogs, that are located in the upper right-hand corner.
||SDH/HoH subtitles are encoded as a flow of command, control and text codes.
||They are usually encoded as bitmap images, namely a series of minute dots or pixels, compatible with HDTV media (cable, satellite, etc.).
||SDH/HoH subtitles allow for the text to be introduced in the source language as well as in its translated version.
Sign language is the language used by deaf people and people who live or associate with them. Sign language has its own grammatical structure and vocabulary, so it is not just a translation of spoken language but is a language in its own right with its own system.
Sign language interpreters work live or in real time on numerous occasions and also in recording studios as an alternative to the subtitling of multimedia content.
Audio description is a form of narration used for providing information about key visual elements of audiovisual content that helps blind and visually-impaired consumers. It provides a detailed description of the visual content and is presented in narrations that are generally inserted during natural pauses in the soundtrack and, sometimes, during the dialog if this is considered necessary, thus giving people with a visual impairment the opportunity to fully enjoy performances, movies, the visual arts, exhibitions and cultural events.