Screen-Readers Can Read Captions? This Is A Thing?

So how long have I been under a rock? Please tell me it hasn’t been long.

For as far as I can remember, I was sure you couldn’t read the captions that appear on Youtube videos, or any videos for that matter. I figured they were either images burned in, or they just moved too fast, or something. But I have discovered, at least with Youtube, if you put your focus in juuuuuust the right place, you can read the captions! Here’s how:
Here’s a sample video with captions. It’s not very long so move quickly.

Hit the button for subtitles/closed captions so it says “pressed.” Then use your arrows or screen-reader cursor manipulation keys and position yourself above the slider above the play/pause button. And if you’re in luck, captions will start to read.

Something I’ve noticed is if the captions are turned on by default, as I think is happening in our Healthcare options example,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-HXORRzxL4
you’re screwed because the poor screen-reader gets confused. Or maybe I’m confused. If I’m correct, I’m a little sad because the video-creator was trying to be all awesome and have the captions load automatically, and apparently that didn’t sit well with at least NVDA.

I knew some captioning can be baaaaad, but I had no idea how bad. Get a load of the horror on our old funny Crime Stoppers bit.

That, my friends, is why automated captions must *always* be proofread.

You might wonder why we would want to read the captions. Well, we might not need the captions, but what about subtitles on videos in a language that is not our native one?

Happy caption-reading, or caption-laughing-at.

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