Education

Several hundred million reasons captions boost literacy

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The use of captions to help with literacy is supported by a range of studies and approaches. As we approach National Literacy and Numeracy Week and the culmination of the CAP THAT! campaign, we contrast two studies on captions and literacy—a small-scale American study and a massive program in India targeting hundreds of millions.

Key attached to keychain with the word 'literacy'


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Including captioning for excursions

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The principles of CAP THAT! don’t have to stop at the school gate. There are options for including captioning as part of an excursion; it just requires a little research and planning beforehand.

Teacher and six primary school students standing outside a building


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How does captioning help with inclusive education?

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Inclusive education is an expectation for any student enrolled in a mainstream school, which is the case for the vast majority of Australian school students who have a disability.

Teacher and four primary school students using a laptop


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Parents support captions in the classroom

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Parents are a key ally in providing a supported captioning experience, according to Kate Kennedy from Parents of Deaf Children (PODC), the NSW-based parent organisation providing support, information and advocacy services to families of children with hearing loss.

Father and son sitting on a sofa using a laptop together

While the focus of the organisation is on supporting families, it often works with schools and classroom teachers to ensure they are aware of the needs of deaf children in the classroom.


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Captioned video and transcripts – ideal access and teaching combination

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For students with diverse learning needs, the use of captioned content in the classroom is the best way to gain access to context and information for learning experiences using media. When captions are not available, the fall-back position for teachers has often been the use of transcripts.

Student writing the word 'plant' on an interactive whiteboard, alongside the words Irrigation, gardener, farmer, water, soil and fertilising. The caption reads 'will consolidate your message.'


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Five key captioning roles for specialist educators

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Specialist education roles, such as Itinerant or Supporting Teachers of the Deaf, have a strategic and practical role in promoting the use of captions in school.

Smiling teacher standing in a classroom, holding a folder in her right hand

Five key roles you can play are:

1. Broadening the reach of access services to others


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Choosing captioned options is an essential first step

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In many subjects, students (and teachers) have a choice about which texts or resources to study. For students who use captions, it makes sense to choose texts or resources that have captioned film versions available.

Finger pointing to the text "English Captions: Yes [Descriptive subtitles for the hearing impaired]" on the back of a DVD box


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Using captions to teach skills and concepts

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Access and opportunity combine with the use of captioned video in the classroom to provide necessary context, as well enduring information, after the initial learning experience passes.

Considering that captions are really just words used in a particular way to provide access and meaning, it challenges us as educators to ponder how we can use the opportunity these words provide. The written word has been used to teach concepts for thousands of years, so let’s look at words in the context of access. The use of captioned video ‘turns a light on’ to expose the hidden treasure – information – which lies within the video. Further learning for all students can be facilitated by releasing that knowledge in a variety of forms.


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Captioned Discovery Kids helps primary children learn

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Discovery Kids is Australia’s only dedicated educational channel for primary-school aged children (5-12) and a sponsor of Media Access Australia's national CAP THAT! campaign. From its launch on Foxtel in 2014, 100% of the content on Discovery Kids has been captioned.

Robert Irwin speaking with the caption "No? Well, that's where closed captioning comes in"


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Captioning helps ASD students

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One of the identified audiences for Media Access Australia’s CAP THAT! campaign is students with diverse learning needs. This includes students who have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which represents about 0.5% of Australians according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics SDAC Survey1.

Ai-Media live captioner


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