The Importance of “Accessibility”
Yangaroo provides production services to meet all of your accessibility needs. We thought it would be a great idea to write a blog recapping the importance of these services and how you may add the options to your future orders. Theresa Weed, our Director of Sales based in New York has compiled the following blog.
Imagine how challenging it must be to fully enjoy a movie, TV show, or performance without seeing or hearing it. For the almost 13 million people in the USA and Canada who are blind or visually impaired, and the 51 million deaf and hard-of-hearing population, it is a daily struggle. Content producers who want to promote inclusivity and expand their audience will strive to ensure their media is as accessible as possible.
“Accessible media” refers to audiovisual content that is read, heard, or viewed by people with disabilities, particularly the blind, vision impaired, deaf, hearing impaired, or those who have a physical disability. Examples of accessible media are video with closed captioning (CC), audio description (AD), or subtitling.
Here at Yangaroo, we take accessibility seriously. We help brands make their media content available to everyone regardless of ability by providing all of these services in the production cycle of a broadcast order.
Our accessible media services are inclusive, cost-efficient, and available upon request. Let’s take a look at the usefulness and importance of each:
When most people think of accessibility in terms of media content, the first thing that may come to mind is closed captioning (CC) for deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers. Closed captioning is a transcription of the spoken dialogue, sound effects, and music that appears on the bottom of the video screen and can be toggled on and off.
Since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990, the use of CC in the United States has increased dramatically for broadcast TV, advertising, and film. In Canada, 100% of programming, advertisements, sponsorships, and promotional content must include captions.
Closed captioning is useful for more than just the deaf population, however. You can also expand your audience by using captions to engage viewers for whom English is a second language, helping them to read the words and see how the language is used in various situations. Many people, including myself, also choose to view content with CC when others are sleeping, on the phone, or in public venues such as bars or restaurants. Adding closed captioning can ensure the broadest possible audience is receiving your message.
Captioning is often confused with subtitling, but there is an important difference. While both incorporate text that scrolls across the bottom of the video, subtitles are generally used for the translation of a language that is not spoken by the viewer.
Unlike CC, however, subtitles presume the viewer can hear the standard audio.
Yangaroo is proud to offer Audio Descriptive (AD) services for your spot or programming needs.
The objective of Audio Description (AD) is to allow the blind and visually impaired to fully comprehend what is happening on screen or at a live performance by providing detailed information that is often only conveyed by the scenery, facial expressions, gestures, or character actions.
Similar to how closed captioning enables deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers to see what the characters are saying, a good audio description fits each scene’s tone. It allows visually impaired viewers to know where scenes are taking place, what characters look like, what essential actions are happening, and more.
The audio description (also referred to as descriptive video (DV)) is a secondary narrator track that provides these relevant visual aspects in between natural breaks in the dialogue. It may be pre-recorded or narrated live and accessed via Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs).
An example of AD might be:
The woman rushes forward into a dark room with an expression of fear, checking over her shoulder to see if she is being followed.
Outside, a thunderstorm rages, and flashes of lightning briefly illuminate the room.
Recently, one of my client’s new spots was ready to send to TV/Cable networks and spot stations across the US and Canada. The spot consisted entirely of music and graphic elements that the advertiser realized may exclude the blind and visually impaired population. They reached out to Yangaroo to add an Audio Description track that allowed these viewers to truly experience the producer’s artistic intent.
As AD becomes more common, it can be found in TV programming, advertising spots, movie theaters, performing arts events, sporting events, and even theme parks.
MOVING TOWARDS A FULLY ACCESSIBLE WORLD
Making television and film content more accessible ensures inclusivity and significantly impacts a large portion of the population.
Today, many companies recognize that, increasingly, social media is the way many of us consume content. These companies are introducing accessibility aids to improve user experience by providing captions and subtitles on Facebook and Youtube content, and even by adding text to images on Twitter.
If you’d like to learn more about how Yangaroo can help ensure your media content is accessible to all, please reach out to our Sales team at [email protected] or shoot us an inquiry on our chat-bot.