Since its official launch in January 2013, Vine has become an incredibly popular platform, allowing users to share six-second looping videos. The short-form nature of the service has led to the creation of a wealth of viral, humor-driven videos. As is the case with many new platforms in this age of instant video production, Vine does not have a way to add a caption file to the video, and there is a 140-character limit for each post, meaning it may not be possible to caption everything that is said that way either. This is highly unfortunate, as these videos are becoming a bigger and bigger part of internet culture, and deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers are often left out.
Fortunately, there are a number of blogs making use of the Tumblr platform to add captions to popular Vines:
Captioning Vines! even has a list of tips on their blog for captioning vines on Tumblr:
1) Don’t write captions at the bottom of a bunch of comments to a video. Try to reblog from the original source. That way when someone is watching a video, the captions will be relatively in sight.
2) Write out the lyrics to a song instead of just writing the title. Sometimes the lyrics of songs will be part of the joke in vines.
3) Clearly indicate who is speaking ( A helpful tip is to label them with an attribute they have like “blonde hair” etc.)
4) Write out sounds, not just dialogue like “dog barking” or “ loud thunder”.
5) Write out the expressions! If someone is yelling angrily, signify that.
6) Make it clear when something is a piece of dialogue versus an action.
This is not a perfect solution to making Vines accessible, but it is a wonderful testament to the power of community and its ability to make media and culture more accessible.