Do you have trouble seeing the captions on a video when in a public place? Would it be easier if they were on the top of the screen? I hadn’t given this issue much thought until a recent visit to Washington DC. All the video presentations were captioned, but I struggled to read them unless I was right in the front. In this article for HHTM, I wonder where the caption window should be located for the best accessibility.
An excerpt from the article is below. Read the full post at FindHearing on HHTM.
Are Captions on Public Content Better on Top?
I lean to the left. I lean to the right. The people seated in front of me are are tall and given my shorter stature, it is hard for me to see the captions on the welcome video at the U.S. Capital. The captions are on the bottom of the screen, as is typical for captioned media, but because of this, they are hidden by those seated in front of me in the auditorium. A similar thing occurred at the museums, where I needed to shift side to side behind taller visitors to read the captions on the video exhibits.
Maybe captions in public spaces are more accessible if they are always on the top of the screen.
For Private Use Captions are Often Movable
When using captions at home, we have options. For example, the Zoom caption window can be moved anywhere on the screen with a simple drag and drop. I always move the caption window to the top of the screen because they are easier for me to see, and the top-of-the-screen location helps me look more attentive on the call. Rather than looking down (to read the captions) I am seen with my eyes forward and engaged.
You can also reposition the caption box on YouTube videos or when using the Live Caption accessibility feature in the Chrome Browser. Again, just drag and drop.
Should We Change the Standard?
More research is needed to see if my experience is the norm, but if captions in public spaces are more accessible on the top of the screen, how can we help change this standard?
For more discussion, continue reading on HHTM.
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10 thoughts on “Where Do You Like Your Captions?”
Above when in public
Thanks for weighing in.
Above when in public. Below on TV.
Thanks for sharing your preferences.
When I’m watching a movie or some television shows having captions the bottom is fine. However, on programs that deliver the news like CNN, I rather have them on top because the captions clash with the words going across the bottom of the screen.
Good point. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I like the captions to be on the bottom when watching TV. Also, I set the caption size at medium for better viewing.
Thank you for sharing what works for you.
Hi Shari. Speaking of captioning…. Microsoft provided a substantial improvement to captioning within Windows 11. Live captions is available in Windows 11, version 22H2 and later and it allows the user to control positioning of the captioning window. See the article at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/use-live-captions-to-better-understand-audio-b52da59c-14b8-4031-aeeb-f6a47e6055df
Terrific information. Thanks for sharing.