Video Essentials

Captions are Critical; Here’s How to Add them to Live Webcasts

Are some people being left out of the live video streams at your company?

While streaming live webcasts to its worldwide body of employees, the people at Lockheed Martin challenged themselves to reach all the workers at the same time. Hearing impaired workers often asked for transcripts of live video events after the events had taken place. The IT team knew they could create a better solution.

At the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City, Thomas Aquilone, enterprise technology programs manager for Lockheed Martin, explained the company’s first efforts.

“Our challenge was reaching the hearing impaired, and we were not desperate because we weren’t mandated by the government to do this, but we were trying to come up with solutions,” Aquilone explained. “One thing we tried right away, because it was live with no delays, was to have live simultaneous American Sign Language webcasts.”

They created video players that contained an icon with two hands, which workers could click to get an ASL stream during a live event.

“A whole new player would open up, and in the video window same slides, same audio, but you would have an American Sign Language interpreter doing sign language in the video window,” said Aquilone. “It meant that, though it was live and there was no delay, there who two whole separate webcasts, so the costs doubled, at least.”

That wasn’t the ideal solution, however, as an ASL track didn’t preclude the need for closed captioning.

“Afterwards, as we found out, we still needed closed captioning for the rebroadcast. You could still access the American Sign Language webcast, but many people still needed closed captioning,” Aquilone explained.

To hear what else Lockheed Martin tired and what it finally decided upon for closed captioning of live events, watch the video below and download the presentation.


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