Requesting Studio Captioning Services Through HHS
The HHS Studio/Broadcast Communication Division (BCD) manages the HHS Broadcast Studio Visit disclaimer page , and provides open and closed captioning services to agencies throughout HHS. The BCD collaborates with subject matter experts and key stakeholders to create useful and cost effective video products that support Departmental goals, and provides a wide range of video production and A/V services.
Benefits of Video Captioning
By federal law, all videos must be captioned or accompanied with a transcript to meet Section 508 compliant standards. To be accessible to people with disabilities, videos and multimedia should be captioned and audio-described.
Captioning and providing audio-described videos will allow help deaf and/or hard of hearing users, but also those who use English as a second language. Caption help them fill in the comprehension gaps when listening to or watching a video.
Video Captioning Guidance
HHS requires that all web-hosted videos be captioned to ensure equal access and ease of use for those persons using assistive technologies. The captioning requirement covers:
- Video for over-the-air broadcasts and webcast
- Live stream and on-demand videos of any length
- Public service announcements (PSAs)
- Internal training videos
- Videos produced internally or externally, including by partners
- Video Pod (or Vod) casts (3)
- Both internal and external audience
Open and Closed Captioning
In open captioning, the words are immediately visible on the screen and cannot be turned off by the viewer. In closed captioning, the words are hidden to most viewers and are made available/decoded upon request by the viewer.
- Edited videos are captioned from scripts or transcripts. YouTube videos use a .txt file for captioning. This file can come from a live-caption event or from a transcript created by the video producer or client. The .txt file is uploaded with the video file and synchronized with the video. This captioning is 100% accurate.
- Webcasts and other live broadcasts are captioned on the fly and inserted into the video stream as a closed caption service. These must be at least 95% accurate. Captioning and encoding are handled simultaneously for webcast or other live broadcasts.
More information on the costs and description of services (PDF) the HHS Studio provides. Services can be obtained by contacting Ann Ramsey at HHS/ASPA.