Accessibility Support - Captions For The Hearing Impaired
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Captioning Support Statement
All of our podcasts follow the device's standard for supporting live captioning.
It was time to put one out with instructions, as we are increasingly getting questions and feedback about accessibility.
Fortunately, we hold a number of technical certifications, and have enough competency in the subject to provide some assistance; the challenge is that there’s no way to know what device you’re using when you come to our service. We don’t even know that you’re coming to our service - we’re available through multiple top podcasting platforms, and many people just add the podcast to their tool of choice. Might not even be a platform, might just be a podcast app such as Podcast Guru.
Podcasts take two forms: video and/or audio. Most audio podcasts don’t use closed captioning; they may use a form of transcription service that makes the spoken text available to interact with (federal and local government sites do this for their hearings). These are paid services, and for podcasts that don’t charge or use ads, may not be feasible; thus the use of live captioning instead, which is fully supported on Basic Cryptonomics and A Gentleman's World (For The Love Of Boxing is YouTube only, which uses Closed Captioning).
Recognizing this challenge, operating systems (which is what you see when you use your device) are generally responsible for ensuring compatibility with live captions. It also means we can’t always control the ability to see these captions, because your operating system may or may not support it (it’s rare that there’s zero support. More often, the support is incomplete or insufficient for the user.)
Do note that some words may not be picked up correctly by the captioning engine, either because they’re not really words (“doot, doot, doot!”) or for where there are similar words in play and the engine can’t pick up the context or inflection (where vs. wear, for example). From our testing though, the engine does a very good job transcribing what we say into the captions accurately, as we’ve invested a lot of time and money into audio quality and fidelity and work to speak as clearly as possible.
Closed Captioning vs. Live Captioning
First, it’s important to understand the difference in terminology.
Previously, referred to captions that were provided either as part of the pre-recorded broadcast or by the network when it was aired - but this almost always refers to television/video based captioning. It didn’t matter what TV you were using. YouTube uses Closed Captioning as a process that is done when videos are uploaded that have spoken audio detected; it will create the captions after upload and present them when a user requests them. This is done by a single checkbox for the YouTube Creator for every video (enabled by default), and then enabled by a checkbox on the user’s playback settings.
Refers to captions that use software/hardware to provide captions on-the-fly. It doesn’t care what the service is, it simply waits for detected spoken audio and goes to work. An example of this is when you use your microphone to perform a Google Search, or Siri Search, and it displays text back that you spoke. Services such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams provide this functionality directly in the interface. There are also apps on Apple and Android that can do this for you for non-recorded settings, such as in a face-to-face meeting.
We put together a basic rubric for enabling live caption functionality, so that your device will automagically provide captions as the audio is heard. Please access our interactive tool to help with instructions on how to do this. This is information is gleaned from various sources across the Interwebs and centralized for your convenience; the steps involved have been heavily tested on Windows 10/11 and Android 10 and above. The tool is below. Please note that the steps outlined are not specific to our podcasts; you can use them for any service on these devices.
Laptop or Desktop Computer (Microsoft Windows, Apple OS, etc.)
Live Captions on Windows require minimum Windows 10. Lesser versions may work, but are not supported by this tool.