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Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Introduction

People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing cannot hear sound or hear clearly.

Making ICT platforms accessible to people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing is straight forward; If audio of any kind is used as part of the content in a website or mobile app, ensure there is a text equivalent subtitle (Caption) or text transcript.

For many years television has offered the deaf community the option to turn on captions from their television set remote.

Today on the internet, website owners fail to provide captions for online videos putting up barriers to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. This guide will provide developers, basic information about how to make digital content accessible to people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

ICT Platforms

  • Websites

  • Mobile / Devices and Applications

  • Computer Applications

  • eLearning

  • Kiosk / ATM

  • Television

  • Cinema

Assistive Technology (AT) Devices for people; Deaf or Hard of Hearing

  • Hearing Aid
  • Induction Loop
  • Mobile smart phone SMS for communicating
  • Teletype device for communicating

Free tools used for creating video subtitle / captions

Making content accessible for people who are; Deaf or Hard of Hearing

  • If Audio is embedded or used in any way to add context; provided separate link to accessible text transcript file; Note Pad, Word, PDF or HTML page.
  • If Audio is used in a non-meaningful way. Example; sound of mouse click or sound of waterfall that does not add context. Transcripts or descriptions are not required, do nothing.
  • If videos are used; provide synchronized  Subtitle / Caption for;
    • Spoken Dialogue
    • Narration / Audio description
    • Describe sounds that add context to video content
  • Creating Captions for online You Tube content and similar;
    • Do not use Auto caption as it is best; 50% to 70% accurate
    • Caption must be 100% accurate
    • Manually caption and upload file separately
  • Create closed captions; this gives users the option to turn on / off
  • Avoid conveying information or prompt an action by Sound alone.
    Provide text equivalent information and prompts
  • Optionally use sign language video or avatar as an alternative to; Subtitle / Captions.
    This alternative is expensive to produce, but it might be worthwhile if many of your users / visitors are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.