Femi SoluadeHer video subtitling service earned Femi Soluade a first-place finish in the Innovative Designs for Enhancing Accessibility (IDeA) student competition.

Subtitling service hailed as innovation in accessible design

Femi Soluade, a first-year student of international relations, is interested in exploring the world but short of travel funds. That dilemma inspired a business that won a competition for ideas to overcome accessibility-related barriers.

Immersing herself in videos from other cultures — Korean anime, Bollywood action films, Chinese martial arts, and documentaries from all over — Soluade found that the subtitles were often either unavailable or so poor that they interfered with her enjoyment of the content.

“I came up with the idea for this business by recognizing the limitations of AI-generated captions and subtitles, which are only 60 to 70 percent accurate,” she says. “I then embarked on a journey of learning to subtitle professionally, so that I could produce accurate, clear and well-synced captions and subtitles to enhance accessibility, bridge language gaps, and enrich the viewer experience.”

Soluade is the sole proprietor of FEPSS, a language solutions business that specializes in subtitling for audio-visual productions including closed captioning and SDH: Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Additionally, FEPSS provides video translations from English to French to Spanish and the reverse, transcription, proofreading, video editing and graphic design services.

“The idea is to break down language barriers and facilitate effective communication, so that information in digital content is accessible to all — regardless of hearing abilities or language proficiency,” she says.

That commitment to accessibility earned her top honours in the Innovative Designs for Enhancing Accessibility (IDeA) student competition, which calls for inclusive, innovative, cost-effective, and practical solutions to accessibility-related barriers.

Soluade included in her pitch presentation a video from the IDeA Competition organizers, professionally recaptioning it to demonstrate the value of human subtitlers and captionists over auto-generated captions. Watch her demo video here.

The first-place finish earned her a $500 UwinCARD credit, which she says will largely go textbooks for next semester, campus store gift cards for friends, and bubble tea purchases.

Soluade sums up her philosophy as “Bridging Worlds with Words,” creating a global community where language is no longer a barrier but a bridge to understanding, diversity, and inclusivity.

Her vision for FEPSS is that it becomes a global leader in the localization industry and a trusted partner for individuals and organizations navigating the complexities of the linguistic landscape, providing them with the tools needed for effective communication in any language. Learn more at FEPSS.org.

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