Closed-Captioned Video Examples

Char James Tanny put together a great list of resources on captioned videos. I wanted to capture it here so I could embed videos, share a few notes and post screen shots from YouTube.

They are examples showing how the following types of videos differ:

Many years later, I’ve put together a caption guide.

No Captions

People who are deaf or hard of hearing may have trouble understanding a video without captions and transcripts like this one.

Open Captions

Open captions always show up on the screen regardless if the viewer wants it on or off.

Note: The problem with videos having open captions is they won’t show up on YouTube when searching for cc videos. This video does not appear in the search when filtering for cc videos.


This one also has captions, but you need to click the CC symbol to turn them on. This gives the user control over captions. This way you don’t have to create two separate videos. You create one video and let the user decide.

Audio Description

Audio description enhances the video by explaining what is happening. If someone cannot see the action on the screen, AD describes what’s happening. For example: [Gibbs slaps Tony on the back of the head.] Tony: Hey!

ASL / Sign Language

Videos with sign language are specifically designed for those who are fluent in sign language. (Remember not all deaf and hard of hearing people know sign language. Yes, including those who are born deaf.) YouTube has more than 40,000 ASL videos. The IRS has posted several videos to provide tax information.

Search for CC Videos

To search for videos with captions:

  1. Enter a search term.
  2. Press Enter or Return.
  3. Select CC (closed caption) from the Filter drop-down menu.
YouTube Search Filter
How to filter cc videos on YouTube

This screen shot shows the result after filtering videos by cc. Notice the cc symbol in the entry. A video with built-in captions will most likely not make the cut or have the symbol like the example.

YouTube Search Results for CC
Results of YouTube search using cc filter

Google also allows you to filter for closed captioned videos.

Search Google for CC videos
Filter closed-captioned videos in Google

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  1. […] Closed-Captioned Video Examples has actual videos of different types of captioned videos so you can see how they’re different. If your business produces videos, it will give you things to consider in creating accessible videos. (This is only a small part of accessibility. There are also accessible videos for people who are blind.) […]

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