Closed captions

DEFINITION: Closed Captions

Closed captions refer to the textual representation of the audio content of a video or television program. These captions are typically synchronized and displayed on-screen, enabling individuals with hearing impairments to access the dialogue, sound effects, and other auditory elements of the media.


1. What is the purpose of closed captions?
Closed captions aim to make audiovisual content accessible to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. They provide a text-based alternative to the spoken words and sounds, allowing these individuals to fully understand and enjoy the media.

2. How are closed captions created?
Closed captions can be created manually by human transcribers who watch the video or program and type out the dialogues and sounds. Additionally, there are automated technologies, such as speech-recognition software, that can generate captions with varying degrees of accuracy.

3. What do closed captions typically look like?
Closed captions are usually displayed at the bottom of the screen in a designated area called the caption box. They appear as white or colored text on a black or opaque background, ensuring readability and contrast for viewers.

4. Are closed captions used for reasons other than accessibility?
Yes, closed captions are not exclusively limited to individuals with hearing impairments. They are also utilized by individuals learning a new language, viewers in noisy environments where audio is difficult to hear, and those who prefer to read along while watching.

5. Where can I find closed captions?
Closed captions are commonly available on television programs, movies, online video platforms, and streaming services. They can usually be enabled or disabled via a settings or options menu, indicated by the “CC” (closed caption) symbol.