The Dutch company, Scribit.pro, has created an easy-to-use tool to produce captions, transcripts and audio description for online videos, such as the ones on YouTube.
A range of alternatives are available to those using the tool, such as hiring a professional from Scribit’s panel of experienced describers, subtitlers and transcribers, or scripting it yourself and using one of the synthetic voices available on the platform.
Sonali Rai, Broadcast and Audio Description Manager at RNIB, said: “Scribit is a very useful tool for content producers looking to add access features, such as audio description and subtitles to make their videos accessible – allowing people with sight and/or hearing loss to watch their content independently.”
In addition to the authoring tool, the company has also designed a fully accessible player which is an alternative to embedding a video from YouTube. Although, there is an interesting plug available for those embedding a file from YouTube video which allows content owners to add audio description as an additional audio track and present it on their website within the original YouTube frame.
Sonali added: "500 hours of video content is uploaded to YouTube every minute, most of it is user-generated and almost all of it remains inaccessible for people who rely on these access features. With rapid improvement in the awareness and appreciation of making content accessible, what is needed is an efficient process and a tool that is easy to use, to make this content accessible."
Eveline Ferwerda of Scribit said that the tool was not only designed to make it easier for content producers or companies to comply with the requirements of WCAG 2.1 AA for video content, but to achieve a certain standard of viewer experience in mind. The alternatives offered within the tool, such as being able to choose the right voice for the content and being able to select the presentation style, would improve the experience for people who rely on access features to enjoy content.
There is a free trial for first-time users after which users can either buy an annual package or pay per video.
The driving force behind the scribit.pro initiative has been Bartimeus Fund. Aware of the challenges in accessibility in other countries, Bartimeus supports scribit.pro as an international start-up.
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