UW Video

UW Video Makes Accessibility a Top Priority

When it comes to online video, accessibility often takes a back seat to the content and imagery itself.  Modern technology offered by UW Video enables closed captions for hearing-impaired attendees of live events, a service once considered prohibitively expensive.

UW Video utilizes a technology known as CaptionCast, which allows anyone with a smartphone or standard web browser to view closed captions which mirror the audio piped through traditional speakers at a live event.  The text displays in high-contrast as white letters against a black background, optimized for easy viewing in the palm of your hand.  In addition, these captions can be viewed on a full-screen web browser displayed on a projection screen or flat-screen TV monitor.  Users access the captions by simply browsing to www.uwcaptions.com.

As of April 2019, local legislation in the City of Seattle now requires that all public event venues with TV screens must display closed captions, including restaurants, bars, sporting venues, other other public spaces that have video monitors of live events.  UW Video prides itself in being able to offer this service and help campus partners stay legally compliant, while at the same time being at the forefront of technology as the university aims to be a leader in accessibility.

UW Video includes CaptionCast at no extra cost for most events where a live webcast to YouTube or Facebook Live is being broadcast with standard closed captions.  Departments can also request closed captioning as a standalone service to enhance their events.  Captions are generated by a real human in real-time through a remote internet connection, and the captions are displayed with only a slight delay.

Recent live events that were CaptionCast-enabled include the 2019 New Student Convocation, 2019 Annual President’s Address, A Historic Evening with Eva Schloss – Stepsister of Anne Frank, and home Husky Football games, among several other events.

Closed caption services offered by UW Video include captions for live events, recorded videos, and even open captions (“burned in” to the video).  Contacts us at uwvideo@uw.edu for more information on how we may be able to support your video accessibility needs.