Impact of coronavirus pandemic on people with disabilities is discussed at the Indonesia Project’s global webinar series, 24 June 2020 – AIDRAN
The use of video as a medium for learning has multiple roles in these day an age. With one click on a specific link, students can access videos directly from wherever they are. Unfortunately, often the video used is not accompanied by caption, both closed or open caption.
Ironically this is similar to the way some television stations are not adhering to Indonesian 2012 law number 32 on broadcasting and 2016 law number 8 about disability in relation to the right to obtain information for everyone. “Everyone” is defined as the infinite segments of viewers who watch, including those who are hearing impaired (deaf), or have other sensory disabilities with varying levels. If one covers audiences in all segments, then providing caption on each video is what must be done.
In the education sector, the use of video is directly associated with learning material. Since the Directorate General of High Education from the Ministry of Research, Technology and High Education stated that the university campus is inclusive for everyone, the existence of video as a medium of learning to distribute information is also an obligation that universities must follow through. Although in the 2016 Law number 8 it is not stated specifically that a hearing impaired student (deaf) should be provided with a sign language translator in schools or on campuses, this is an intrinsic point covered by the law.
When a sign language translator is not available in the video, then the caption in the text must explain the contents of the audio. In fact, sound effects that is not speech but related contextually to what is visually displayed must also be defined in the caption, such as the sound of wind on a video containing learning materials about meteorology and geophysics. In essence, whatever is still in the form of sound can be captioned in the video.
Closed and Open Caption
Caption is a text that appears on the screen that explains the contents of the video and also describes the voice and sound effect to provide in written form the message. Caption can also be an explanation about the identity of the speaker and an explanation of the voice that has relevance with the contents of the video. Caption synchronizes with the visual performance in the video, so that viewers can listen and read the caption at once. Thus, those with sensory disability both visually or hearing impaired (blindness and deafness) can have equal access to informations on the video.
There are two kinds of caption, which is closed caption and open caption. Open caption can not be disabled, as it is integrated and attached to the video, and it will shrink in size if the video file is compressed to a smaller shape or to another video file extension. While closed caption can be edited according to the needs of the audience. Open caption is listed in the video at the same time when the video is edited while closed caption can be installed after the video is finished processing and ready to be uploaded. The most obvious example of closed caption is the one installed on Youtube with the cc button you can chose (which is the abbreviation for closed caption). On other social media apps like Instagram and IGTV, closed caption is not provided so the video that is published on Instagram or IGTV must use closed caption.
On certain video players, to view closed caption you may needs an additional supporting player, like VLC player or GOM player. On Youtube, closed caption sometimes must be put as the setting preferred or one must not forget to turn on the cc button. On Television, closed caption needs a decoder that can read and display the text of the caption. This decoder is most often installed on the latest version of televisions such as smart Television (Smart-TV).
Installing closed caption on a video player must include how to activate the caption, whether it is through a television screen or other software. That is the reason why a lot of video viewers prefer open caption rather than closed caption. There is an assumption that open caption contains the universal design that carried the Human Rights general convention because it is beneficial not only for those who are hearing impaired (deaf), but also for foreign language audiences and people in a noisy area that does not allow a good projection of sound from the video. Unfortunately, the translation in open caption cannot be done in the same manner as closed caption. In addition to the extra features stored in open caption, there is also a flaw in its usage. Open caption is a direct part of the video, while closed caption is separate to the video format so it is more flexible to be used on various video players and does not shrink in size when the video is compressed.
With the advantages and disadvantages of the open and closed caption, it is important to evaluate the use of one’s video and how far an audience can understand it. For example, on a tutorial video aimed at those who are disabled or at a broad range of audiences or at a noisy conference, open caption might be more useful. However, this consideration must also be measured by how much the caption can be accessed when watched and edited when there is a mistake to be fixed. What is more important than the consideration outlined above is to consider the audience and the message that you want to convey from producing your specific video with either open or closed caption.