How Closed Captioning Benefits Literacy

Closed-captioning represents far more than words on a screen. It is easy to presume that, by default, a first-world country would have a nearly universal literate population. However, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Education, the percent of U.S. adults who can’t read (above a basic level) is 14% or a staggering 32 million adults.

The workable solutions to this problem are often overlooked and underutilized. There is now a large body of research that strengthens the link between closed-captioning and increased literacy rates. It is now proven that non-literate learners who regularly view material with closed captions and same-language subtitling, are far more comfortable and proficient in reading and writing. The benefits are as follows:

  1. Captions can provide struggling readers with additional print material to reinforce learning.[1]
  2. It helps beginning readers with decoding, vocabulary acquisition, and oral reading rates. The findings also suggest that captioned media can benefit student’s nonacademic skills like time spent on tasks, motivation, and behavioral patterns.[2]
  3. For “pre-readers” who are not yet literate, captions provide an early signpost that will later improve recall in their cognitive process when first reading print material.[3]

Including captions in your video accomplishes several important goals. Not only does it further a higher standard of education, but it also has significant benefits for your business.

A properly captioned video ensures adherence to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, increases your potential audience by making videos accessible to English as a Second Language (ESL) viewers, creates searchable video content, and adds valuable keywords to improve content discovery.

We understand the substantial time undertaking and the due diligence required to add captioning to your media. Here at VZP Digital, we will gladly provide both. Contact us today, for a free consultation.




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