Ways to Make Your Media Content Hearing Loss Friendly

Rule #1: If you are creating content about hearing loss, make sure it is accessible to the audience you are targeting. Or better yet — make all your content accessible for everyone, hearing loss or not. My recent post for HHTM discusses simple ways to make your media content hearing-loss-friendly. 

An excerpt from the article is below. Read the full post at FindHearing on HHTM.

How to Make Your Media Hearing Loss Friendly

With a bit of forward planning, it is easy to make your media content more accessible.

1. Caption pre-recorded content

Everybody loves captions, hearing loss or not! In fact, 80% of people who use captions are not hard of hearing. For people with hearing loss, captions are a must. They help us combat hearing loss exhaustion by reducing listening effort and help us fill in words that we miss. They give us confidence that we can participate more fully in different listening situations.

But captions are not only for people with hearing loss. Research shows that captioning your videos increases viewership by 40% and that 90% of captioned videos are watched to completion. Captioned videos reach a larger audience because they make watching possible in a wider variety of settings. Captions also make it easier to understand complicated or confusing content and improve intelligibility if the speaker has a strong accent.

2. Caption live content too!

Live content like webinars and virtual meetings should also always be captioned. The gold standard of captioning is Communication Access Realtime Translation or CART, where a live transcriber types what is spoken in real time. CART is critical in educational situations and other highly technical presentations, but it is not always available or cost effective for personal use. In that case, automatic speech recognition (ASR) captions can do the trick. Free ASR captions are available on GoogleMeet and will be available on Zoom by Fall 2021. If you need early access to the Zoom ASR captions, fill out this form.

For more suggestions, keep reading on HHTM. 

Readers, what accessibility features do you require for online content?

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5 thoughts on “Ways to Make Your Media Content Hearing Loss Friendly

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a passionate hearing health advocate and internationally recognized author and speaker on hearing loss issues. She is the founder of Living with Hearing Loss, a popular blog and online community for people with hearing loss, and an executive producer of "We Hear You," an award-winning documentary about the hearing loss experience. Her book, "Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss," (co-authored with Gael Hannan) is the ultimate survival guide to living well with hearing loss. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, she will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Yes, good suggestion. Looping is a great way to make spaces more accessible in addition to captioning. Thank you for your comment.

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