Captionmax's description services expand your media's audience to include the low-vision community. We script, record, and mix all of our own descriptive audio, making Captionmax one of only a few companies to provide human-voiced description and quick-turn capabilities. Over the past two decades, we have worked with consumer advisors to ensure that we provide a quality experience for audiences without overcomplicating workflows for our clients. Captionmax's description also provides compliance with accessibility requirements such as WCAG 2.0 Level A and WCAG 2.0 Level AA, and Section 508.
Captionmax offers a full range of accessibility services for blind and low-vision consumers of video content, including supplementary audio tracks fully mixed with the original program audio, voiceover-only tracks, and text-based description files intended to be accessed via screen-reading software.
Our goal is to convey the details that are most important for a complete understanding of the video content but least apparent from the soundtrack alone. We augment and clarify the audio while respecting its original intent. We are mindful of the fact that the audience for description includes individuals with a wide range of vision capabilities. We describe all essential visual elements when they appear on screen, working around existing dialogue and sound effects in order to provide a consistent audience experience for everyone.
The description process begins with a writer watching the video, finding points where description is necessary, and writing an initial draft of the script. We then fine-tune the timing of individual descriptions and sharpen or condense the language wherever possible and necessary.
Once the script is ready, we cast the voiceover specialist whose vocal style best suits the video content and then record the voice track in our in-house recording studio. In the recording session, we work to ensure smooth delivery, correct pronunciation, and a suitable tone.
We then mix the final description audio into the existing audio track(s) to produce a seamless audience experience.
Voiceover Track: If a client prefers to mix the description into the program audio themselves, we will provide an audio file that includes only the voiceover.
Description Scripts: Occasionally, a client may want to cast, record, and mix their own descriptive audio track. In this case, we provide the timed script itself.
Text Description: For this service, we create a PDF that can be linked to a webpage containing a video. This PDF includes description of all the visual elements, as well as a full transcript of the video's soundtrack. The PDF then serves as a full alternative to the video, making it accessible to blind or low-vision individuals using screen-reader technology. Because this file includes transcription of all the program dialogue, most of our clients prefer to bundle this service with closed captioning.
Expanded Description: Clients may choose this service in cases where there are not enough natural pauses in a video's soundtrack to allow for adequate description. Here, we extend the video by inserting extra still frames at opportune moments in order to provide additional time for voiceover. We then deliver the expanded video, complete with described audio tracks, as the final product. Since this process changes the duration of the original video, it is primarily used for web-based content.