BKS Provides Access Services including: Closed Captioning, HoH, SDH, and AD
As of February 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 360 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, and 285 million people are visually impaired. Lack of either hearing or visual ability leads to profound functional, economic, social and emotional impact. Access to media through closed captioning services is an important part of inclusion for these individuals and is beginning to be treated as a basic human right by media regulators worldwide.
Assistive Technologies enable people with hearing and visual impairments to gain access to media content. There are 3 main access services for the hearing impaired: Closed Captioning (CC), subtitles for the Hard of Hearing (HoH) and subtitles for the deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (SDH). For the visually impaired there is audio description (AD), which is also known as video description.
Subtitles or closed captioning are textual versions of the dialogue, usually displayed at the bottom of the screen with added information, such as speaker IDs and sound effect descriptors, to aid the deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers in following the dialogue. Users of closed captioning and subtitles include people who have experienced hearing loss later in life and those who have been deaf since birth. In addition, some people use these captioning services for other reasons, such as to watch television with the sound muted or to learn English, though they are not the target audience.
For the visually impaired, it is difficult to follow the action on the screen when there is little dialogue. Audio description provides narration describing the action taking place on-screen to help viewers with visual impairments to follow the plot. This audio description is recorded and made available as a separate audio track that can be selected by the viewer.
BKS offers these Access Services:
- Closed captioning services
- HoH (Hard of Hearing)
- SDH (Subtitles for the deaf and Hard-of-Hearing)
- Audio description
- Sign Language video