On Twitch, your content should be accessible to all the members of your community - including those who may have a disability. This includes updating your channel’s “About” section and utilizing closed captions, in addition to making considerations within the content you produce, like turning on subtitles in gameplay. In this Creator Camp article, we’ll provide tips and instructions to create a more accessible Twitch channel.
Making an Accessible “About” Section
The “About” section of your channel allows streamers to customize individual panels to put all the information they want and need their community to know about them and their content. For example, you can make separate panels to cover your chat rules, link to your social media, share the hardware you use to stream, and describe the type of content you stream.
You can make your About section accessible for community members that use a screen reader by adding descriptive text to your panels. Descriptive, or alt text, is a concise text that describes an image or object so that visually impaired users can get the full context of the content. On a page, for creators who use graphics as the headers for their About section panels, descriptive text in the panel section can be especially helpful. For example, “Header image: A purple, gradient background with “About” in bubbled, white letters with an image of the BleedPurple emote,” just above the text in the panel would be an effective way to use descriptive text on your channel page.
Utilizing Closed Captions
Closed caption extensions give your community the option to enjoy your content without sound and are particularly helpful to aid deaf and hard of hearing viewers. You can find multiple options for Closed Captioner extensions via the Extensions section of your Creator Dashboard . From there, you can search “stream captions” in the search bar. It’s essential to pick the captions extension that works best for you, but we’ve created a few recommendations here:
Suppose you’d instead like to use a plugin in your streaming software. In that case, OBS offers a plugin that also creates a great Closed Captioning experience for streamers and viewers by utilizing Google Cloud Speech Recognition API technology. This plugin uses Twitch’s caption support and allows viewers to enable or disable Closed Captions by clicking an image in the stream’s video player on both live streams and VODs, and across PC, Android, and iOS. If you want to learn more about Closed Captions check out the Twitch Help Article
Please note that this plugin is currently unavailable for Streamlabs OBS and Twitch Studio.
Setting Up Closed Captions through Twitch Extensions
- To install a Closed Captioner extension, click the “Add” button next to the extension to add it to your extensions library. Once you’ve clicked that, a window will open instructing you to enable the extension as a “Video Overlay.”
- At the top left of the page, click the “My Extensions” tab. Here you will see your installed and activated extensions. Under the Closed Captioner extension, click “Activate.” There may be several options here, but you will need to select “Set as Overlay 1”. You will then see a new popup box to confirm that the Extension is now Active.
- Once the extension is active, click the cog in the active extension box to open the popup window again. Once here, click the link that will take you to the captioner dashboard, where you will need to sign in with your Twitch account to access the tool. To start the captions, you will need to click “On” for the closed captions to begin working. They will start to appear once your stream goes live, and your community can adjust the settings to their needs via an on-screen menu. Once you’re finished with your stream, or if you need to mute, be sure to turn off or exit the dashboard.
When you make sure your content is accessible, you ensure your community is welcoming to all. Want to learn more about building your community on Twitch? Be sure to check out our other Creator Camp Articles.