Accessibility Tip of the Week – use scripts to generate captions


This week Robert Hardy, our district website accessibility specialist, shares about how to create accurate captions for scripted content. Please contact Robert with any accessibility questions. He is more than happy to talk by phone or schedule a time to meet with you.

Providing accurate captions for video content is necessary to ensure it is accessible to everyone in our community. While manually typing and creating captions can be laborious, YouTube’s captioning tool automatically transcribes the audio from a video into text. By having YouTube do the heavy lifting, all that is left for staff to do is edit the captions for accuracy, as described in our captioning guide.

For scripted content, though, YouTube can do even more. By copying and pasting the video’s script into YouTube, YouTube can automatically sync the script and create accurate captions from it.

To create captions using a script:

  1. Upload your video to YouTube.
  2. Open your YouTube Studio and select Subtitles from the left-hand menu.
  3. Select the video you’d like to create captions for and you will be taken to the Video Subtitles menu.
  4. If YouTube has already created a rough draft of captions, you will have the option to “Duplicate and Edit” the automated transcript. If YouTube has not yet generated captions, select the Add button.
  5. You will be taken to the caption editing tool.
  6. Within the caption editing tool, you can toggle between “Edit as text” view, or a caption preview. To insert a script, you’ll want to be on the Edit as Text view which contains just a singular large text input box with an option to “Assign Timings” above it.
  7. Copy and paste your script into the text editing box.
  8. Select “Assign Timings” from the top. You may be given a prompt that says this may take a few minutes, if so, select Ok.
  9. You can review the timings of your captions by reopening the caption editor and previewing the captions.
  10. Once you are happy with the captions, select “Publish.”

If you have questions about this process or any other accessibility concerns, please reach out to Robert Hardy, the district’s website accessibility specialist.