cielo24 SDH, closed captions and subtitles.

English SDH: What Are Subtitles For The Deaf And Hard Of Hearing?

It is actually a very common question: what are subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing?

Did you know that there are subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired? Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH) aren’t the same as closed captions and can make a difference to your viewing audience.

Subtitles for Hearing Impaired

Subtitles are translations for people who don’t speak the language on the video. Standard subtitles assume the viewer hears the audio.  SDH is written in a format that understands that the viewer may not be able to hear the audio so it adds information about background sounds and who is speaking along with a translation of the script.

cielo24 SDH, closed captions

So are SDH the same as Closed Captioning or Subtitles?

Not exactly. They are different.  Let’s take a look at how.

Closed captions

SDH Closed Captioning are very similar but they aren’t exactly the same.

SDH and Closed CaptionsBoth will work well with your video content.  Closed captioning and SDH both cater to the viewer who can’t hear audio. Here are some differences:

  • Closed captions text location varies while SDH follows the same formatting as standard subtitles.
  • Usually closed captions are white text on black background, SDH varies.



Unlike SDH, subtitles are not created with consideration for sound.   As you can imagine that could potentially adversely affect the deaf or hard of hearing viewer experience. Here are some differences:

  • Subtitles are not written with sound in mind.
  • The location of subtitles is always in the center lower third of the screen while closed captions move around so that the reader can see two speakers at once or alternating speakers.

SDH, Closed Captioning and Subtitles for Much More…

Don’t forget; subtitles, closed captions and SDH also assist people who don’t have hearing issues with context, understanding, and engagement.  In a BBC video caption study, 70% of respondents said closed captions improved comprehension and 80% of those using captions had no hearing impairment at all.

When people are able to comprehend your content you will increase user engagement and increase the likelihood they will watch the entire video.  Here are some compelling stats:

  • closed captions20% of the audience has a disability
  • 40% more time spent watching video
  • 80% more people watch a video to completion.
  • Make videos accessible to English for 2nd language (ESL) viewers.
  • Creating searchable video content.

Captioning and transcription for the deaf and hard of hearing

cielo24 proudly works with companies and organizations across the globe on video data solutions that meet state, federal and international requirements for digital content accessibility. For more information on our video captioning and video intelligence solutions, you can contact us online or call us at 1-855-243-5624.

cielo24’s new Self Serve app is easy to use and extremely cost-effective. Within minutes a video can be uploaded to your account and you will receive a free machine-based, searchable transcript with keywords.

 Take a Video Captioning test-drive >>

Nicole E. Flynn, CMO at cielo24, is deeply interested in exploring and communicating the ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) intersects with various aspects of our daily lives. She is passionate about exploring the ways in which AI can be ethically harnessed to improve the quality of life and make our world a better place. Nicole seeks to educate and inform audiences about the potential of AI technology and how it can be used to drive innovation and growth.