moderated Accessing video subtitles with JAWS

James Benstead

Earlier today a friend of mine phoned me up to ask me about how JAWS interacts with the subtitles on videos: both standalone video files that play in apps like VLC, and videos that run in websites like YouTube.

I know that without very quick OCR, JAWS would always struggle with subtitles that are "burnt in" to a video. But what about subtitles that are included as a text file along with the video? Can JAWS access these, and somehow synchronise them with a video as it plays?

In speaking to my friend it struck me that this isn't something I've ever done, and that I don't know how to do it. My friend wants to know because he produces educational videos for a publishing company, and he wants to make them more accessible. It also occurs to me that having JAWS read out subtitles could be used to create a form of audio description.

Do any of you know how to do this?

Too brief? Here's why!

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