|5 Feb 2021|
After sitting through a session on accessibility at #EduWeb19 with Erika Boltz, I knew that accessibility was an area that I desperately needed to improve on with our social accounts. I manage social media at a small, private school in South Carolina and with being a team of 1, sometimes it’s hard to find time to do all the things that need to be done to make our content accessible for everyone. I realized through this session that not making accessibility a priority was a mindset of privilege because I personally didn’t need content to be altered from its original form to be able to access it. That moment was a like a harsh slap in the face and I knew I needed to do something about it.
From that moment, I worked to do something every day to make our content accessible for all people. I started adding Instagram alt text and began working to caption our videos. Captioning videos, I found out, was the most difficult part of making our content accessible. Facebook’s captioning tool is anything but user friendly and I found myself wanting to give up because it was such a pain to try to work with their interface. That’s when I went on a search for a service that could help with this. Enter Kapwing.
Kapwing is an online image, video, and GIF editing platform. It allows you to manipulate videos in a variety of ways including resizing, editing, and my favorite, captioning. It’s easy to use interface make not only writing captioning easier, but it allowed us to auto overlay the captions on the video for uploading to Instagram. You can even download the .srt file to go with your YouTube and Facebook videos. Once I started using Kapwing, I found myself not hating captioning videos and it became a breeze. I love that I can change the caption color bar when putting captions on the video and that changing settings like size, font, location, etc at just a click of a button. No more typing out each line and adjusting the setting to make it fit. They even have an auto caption button that will auto generate most of the text so all you have to do is clean it up and do small edits. This saved me 45 minutes on my last project!
Another reason we decided to stick with Kapwing was because of the price. Just $20 a month (or $200/year) for a program that saves me hours of time. It was a no brainer. Not only are you getting the ability to caption videos at this price, but there are over 20 different tools that they provide at 1 all-inclusive price.
While making content accessible should be automatic for all social media managers, sometimes it is scary to try and navigate the what and the how. I encourage you to do your research, ask questions, and to just do something. When we don’t make an effort to make our content accessible, we are telling those who need these options that we don’t value them and their needs. Let’s all make an effort to do better this year and be more inclusive so that everyone can enjoy the stories of our institutions that we work so hard to tell.
About the Author: Callie Goodwin is the social media strategist for Columbia College, a small, private college in South Carolina. She manages all social media, photography, video and graphic design for her institution. Callie is a certified Social Media Strategist by the National Institute for Social media and has her Masters in Higher Education Administration. Callie can be found tweeting about her cats (Fish and Chips) and all things higher ed social media at @calliegoodwin.