People who are Deaf or who have limited hearing often rely on captions and transcripts to perceive dialogue, understand background sounds, and otherwise experience the audio track of digital media. People who are blind or have low vision may require audio description to understand what is happening onscreen. Captions, transcripts, and audio description also provide information for people in loud or distracting environments, English language learners, people with low literacy, and others.
Recorded lectures, educational videos, podcasts, training content, videos on social media channels, and other online media should include appropriate captions, transcripts, and audio description to ensure access for all.
General guidelines for online media
- Ensure that captions are available whenever they are needed.
- Proofread your captions for completion and accuracy
- Provide captions for recorded media. You can obtain captions from a third-party or create captions yourself with a variety of tools.
- Provide audio description for visual media when the onscreen activity is important to understanding the content.
- For live meetings and webinars, provide real-time CART captions.
- For audio-only media such as a podcast, provide a text transcript.
- Follow best captioning practices such as speaker identification, punctuation, and additional sounds.
- If your event generates automatic captions, be sure to correct them before publishing.
- If a vendor or third party is creating your media, make sure they provide captions.
Third-party captioning services
Alternative Communication Services (ACSCaptions.com) provides real-time, human-generated CART captions for Zoom and other web conferencing platforms.
REV.com offers post-production captioning services for online digital video. Captions are available in multiple formats, and are appropriate for video platforms including YouTube, Vimeo, Panopto, Canvas, and HTML5 Web Video.
Units should contact the vendors directly to make payment arrangements.
If you need assistance or support to work with a captioning vendor, contact the IT Accessibility team for a referral.