“Scribit.Pro turned out to be exactly the partner we were looking for.”
Together with our customers, we are committed to an accessible future. We therefore find the cooperation with our customers extremely valuable and the personal story of each of our customers extremely important.
In this series, we ask Scribit.Pro customers about their experiences with our service and our services. How do these organizations, authorities and individuals experience the cooperation with our company? What is their digital accessibility strategy and what role does Scribit.Pro play in it? And do they have any tips for others who want to get started with video accessibility?
In this second customer case, you will discover how Milieu Centraal was looking for a way to make their extensive – and still growing – database of video content accessible and to publish it in an accessible way. Content manager Jelger Woudstra explains why Scribit.Pro has proven to be the ideal party to complete this impressive job.
Milieu Centraal is an information organization for consumers in the field of sustainability. Milieu Centraal provides Dutch consumers with independent, substantiated and reliable information to save energy in everyday life and to reduce environmental impact. It is the place where consumers can go for concrete advice and tips on various sustainability topics such as electric bicycles, making your home more sustainable, climate-wise traveling, green yet cheap shopping, reducing plastic or preventing food waste.
This year the organization celebrates its 25th anniversary. Milieu Centraal started in 1998 as a telephone line, where Dutch consumers could go for sustainability questions or issues. A website was also added in the first years. Since the beginning of this century, the website, www.milieucentraal.nl, is the most important stage on which Milieu Centraal manifests itself. The website also forms the knowledge base on which the organization collects all information on the various sustainability topics.
Milieu Centraal receives a subsidy from the government for its role as an independent information organization. On a modest scale, there is income from collaborations with companies and sector parties. Milieu Centraal is in these cases a knowledge partner or content partner. However, the organization operates completely independently, always retains control over what it researches and publishes and is not bound by political views or commercial interests.
Milieu Centraal is located in Utrecht. There are about forty employees, the majority of whom work in the three largest sections: research, online and communication. Jelger Woudstra works as a content manager. He is also the in-house video specialist. Within Milieu Centraal, he is responsible for the quality control of the video productions.
How did Milieu Centraalget started with digital accessibility?
‘Milieu Centraal is an organization that focuses on consumers. We do not specifically focus on consumers who are already environmentally conscious, but also want to be there for all consumers. Our target group is therefore a very large and diverse group. Inside that group fall also people with all kinds of (physical and/or mental) challenges or limitations. We want the information we provide to be accessible to all those people.
We also work a lot with the national government and municipalities. Governments are legally obliged to be digitally accessible. The toolkits that we provide for these authorities must therefore meet the accessibility requirements. A toolkit is a bundle of information on a specific subject, as support to the relevant business partner. For example, Milieu Centraal has developed a toolkit on the safe removal of asbestos.
In 2021, Milieu Centraal had its website tested for accessibility and since then we have been faced with the task of making our content accessible and offering it accessible. A gigantic and comprehensive job, which we are tackling in phases. Because the information that Milieu Centraal offers on its website consists largely of video content, we started with that aspect.'
What has Scribit.Pro been able to do for you?
‘The database of videos now includes about 75 videos. That's what we wanted to start with. For our videos we work together with a fixed number of video makers. And we embed the videos via YouTube on our website. But the big tech companies like YouTube did – and still do – hardly anything about accessibility, so the solution did not lie with them. The issue was how, on the one hand, we could create accessible video content and, on the other hand, ensure that we could also offer it in an accessible way. This raised questions such as: 'How do you approach one issue, and how do you approach another? And what effect does one have on the other? We were looking for a party that could provide the answer to all these issues and we found it in Scribit.Pro.
Scribit.Pro takes care of making our videos accessible and offering them accessible for us. The company provides all of our video content with subtitle support for the deaf and hard of hearing, audio description, and alternative text in the form of a transcript. In the latter form, all visual and auditory information from a video is written out in a kind of film script. The Scribit.Pro widget automatically ensures that the accessibility features are user friendly in the YouTube embeds on our website. We find it a huge plus that we have tackled both accessible production and accessible publication with a single business partner.’
How did you come into contact with Scribit.Pro?
‘We were given the name of Scribit.Pro by one of our regular video partners. That media company gave us the tip to talk to Scribit.Pro.
It turned out to be exactly the partner we were looking for. Since Scribit.Pro offers both the service and the widget, we have tackled our video accessibility strategy with an all-in-one package. Extremely practical and also extremely efficient.'
‘That's what you want: a party that can deliver the whole package.’
What does the collaboration with Scribit.Pro look like?
‘We wanted to be able to completely outsource the production and publication process. That is possible with Scribit.Pro. Scribit.Pro takes care of the accessibility process from start to finish.
We first made an inventory of the number of videos and the number of video minutes and as a result we purchased a subscription of 120 minutes from Scribit.Pro. All existing videos have now been made accessible by Scribit.Pro. We did this in phases, with about five to ten videos per week, spread over several weeks. The videos on milieucentraal.nl and the videos that can be found in our toolkits are now all accessible. That is a milestone that we are proud of.
Milieu Centraal is constantly creating video content. For the production of all those new, yet to be made videos, we are going to extend our Scribit.Pro subscription. Now an integral part of the production of every video: an extra week is reserved in the planning for Scribit.Pro to make the video accessible.'
How do you like the collaboration?
‘The collaboration is very good. In a pleasant way, we looked together at how we could make those 75 existing videos accessible. This has been tackled in a very clear way, in stages.
The delivery of videos is also pleasant and simple and the dashboard of the Scribit.Pro software on which we place the videos works well. The fact that the videos are made accessible with separately supplied files for the subtitles, audio description and transcript offers Milieu Centraal only advantages. It creates many opportunities for our business partners, which we can now provide with the previously mentioned accessible toolkits.’
Any tips for others who also want to get started with video accessibility?
‘If you want to work on digital accessibility, it is wise to involve professionals in the process. We have had our website tested for digital accessibility by the Accessibility Foundation. They now sometimes participate in the development of new tools from the start and have become a good sparring partner.
It is also extremely pleasant for Milieu Centraal that our videos are now made accessible digitally and are published accessible by Scribit.Pro. It's nice that it is taken care of and that we see immediate progress in this. That is what you want: a party that can deliver the whole package. Now we hardly have any work on it ourselves.
A tip specifically for video accessibility: on the one hand, research it well, but on the other hand it is also a matter of just starting. Dare to take on that process and go for it. If you want to get started with video accessibility, it can be quite a search.. And that's why we're so happy that Scribit.Pro takes care of the accessibility of our videos from A to Z. It is reassuring and unburdening, because we know that it will be arranged and that it works.'