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Accessibility Tip: Everyone Uses Captions!

Written by Adam Kosakowski, M.Ed., ATP, Assistive Technology Specialist at New England Assistive Technology (NEAT), an Oak Hill Center

If you’re deaf or hard of hearing or know someone in that population, you likely know about captioning and how it’s needed on videos in order for them to be accessible. But, did you also know that 80% of people who use captions are not deaf or hard of hearing? I am part of that 80%, and although I do not identify with deafness or being hard of hearing, I always turn on
subtitles/captioning when available because it improves my comprehension of dialogue and increases my engagement with the video.

I love captions!
What I’m saying is, captions are used by a huge audience!
(For this statistic and more, check out this link: captioning statistics article by 3PlayMedia)

Quick fact! Captioning and subtitles are technically different. Subtitles are displayed during a video that includes spoken dialogue. Compare this to captioning, which includes spoken dialogue as well as non-dialogue noises like laughter, coffee pouring, explosions, etc. But, the two terms are often used interchangeably nowadays. This article will use the term captioning in
this flexible way.

So, nearly everyone wants captioning, whether or not they have a disability. But, captioning on videos in social media is rare, especially when you consider how many videos are posted every day. The good news is that you don’t need to be a video editing expert to add captions to your videos. There are a myriad of ways to add captions to your videos and my favorite is Clipomatic on Apple devices.

Clipomatic costs $4.99, but it is so worth it. When you start up the app, you press the big red record button and start recording, just like you would in other recording apps. While you record, the app automatically hears what you’re saying and adds captions to your video. When you’re done, press the stop button. Before you save your video, you can even tap a caption it created and then edit it, which is great when the app makes a rare mistake in its word recognition.

Using apps like this, you can seamlessly add captioning to your videos and post to social media. Taking this small, extra step can help you make a statement as an accessibility advocate!

Contact Adam at and follow him on Twitter: @NEATwithAdam