Captioning And Subtitles
There are many multimedia products which hearing impaired people are not able to use by default because of the sound content. These could be videos, or audio recordings. In order to make these materials accessible to them, it is necessary to provide a textual alternative for audio information.
It is often mistakenly believed that hearing impaired people use subtitles to understand audio. Subtitles, for the lack of better can be useful, but it not designed for hearing impaired people. Subtitles are a transcript of speech, usually when the speaker speaks another language. It only indicates what is being spoken, without any additional information. In order for hearing impaired people to fully benefit from audio, more information is needed.
To provide all the necessary information, only the use of captioning is appropriate. Captioning appears on the screen, containing all the spoken information, but in addition, it indicates the speaker, the tone of voice, and any other information which is relevant to understand the content.
Captioning can be open and closed, meaning that open captioning is constantly on the screen, while closed captioning can be turned on and off by the user.