Students requiring captioned instructional material as an accomodation should please contact the Accessibility Services office. The following resources are intended as a general guide for captioning best practices, especially for students producing media. 

Why Caption?

Captioning of video or audio material is required for making content accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Additionally, captions are useful to a wide variety of viewers such as speakers of other languages, individuals with learning differences, and people viewing in noisy environments. 

Here is a video from YouTube about the benefits of captioning:

Throughout this guide we'll be borrowing from the University of Colorado's excellent Captioning Resource Pages


Captioning Standards

Adding captions to a video begins with creating a written transcript of what is being said in the video, and the text should incorporate these important standards:

  • The meaning and intention of the material should be completely preserved (this ensures equal access).
  • Spelling and capitalizations should be accurate, and the transcript should be as close to verbatim as possible.
  • Use punctuation to enhance clarity. For example, if someone is shouting, write "Hi!"
  • If there are multiple speakers present, identify who is speaking. Example: INTERVIEWER: Do you like cheese? SUBJECT: Yes!
  • It's essential to capture relevant non-speech sounds. Non-speech sounds are typically denoted with square brackets, for example [CAT MEOWING] or [ROCK MUSIC].

Creating Captions

Option 1: Outsource

  • Companies include 3Play Media, Rev.com
  • Cost is anywhere from $1 - $4 minute depending on company and turnaround time.
  • Temi is a new service offering good-quality, automatically-generated transcripts for only 10¢/minute!

Option 2: Edit YouTube Automatic Captions

  • If you upload your video to YouTube and set a language, within a day it should have automatic captions added. 
  • These auto-generated captions require editing for accuracy, and to incorporate the important standards listed above.
  • Learn how to edit YouTube's automatic captions. 
  • YouTube also allows you to type a transcript as you watch the video and will conveniently pause the video as you type. 
  • When you have successfully added and published a caption file with any of the methods above, be sure to unpublish the automatic captions from YouTube!
  • If you do not want your video to live on YouTube, we still recommend using it as a tool to create and/or sync your captions. Once this is done, you can download a caption file from YouTube (that will now include timings!) to use elsewhere. 

For help or questions submit an AskIT ticket, thanks!