universal-design-center

Multimedia Accessibility Evaluations

Captions allow people who do not have access to sound to engage with video and audio content. Captioning videos help students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing participate in classwork involving videos. Captioning is part of the Accessible Technology Initiative because videos have become an integral way to share information with students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Accessible Educational Materials: Teaching with Accessible Video.

  • Video: Captions on videos, audio descriptions (for slide content and images), and transcripts 
  • Audio: Transcripts of an audio file or podcast

Turn captions on or off

  1. Go to the video
  2. If captions are available, the CC icon will be visible on the video player.
  3. To turn captions on, tap CC.
  4. To turn captions off, tap CC again.
Multimedia Accessibility Evaluations
Media TypeDescriptionHow to Check

Video/Audio 

Videos, captured lectures, recorded presentations for instructional media must all have captions.  

Audio

The purpose of the transcript is to provide an equivalent to what is presented visually. Ensure transcripts are provided for audio content.

Audio Descriptions

Audio descriptions are audio tracks or transcripts that contain narration of onscreen movement or visuals. They are mainly intended for users with visual impairments such as blind and low vision users.

Audio descriptions have a narrator that describe critical content that is not conveyed through audio such as settings, graphics, and on-screen activity. Audio descriptions are commonly used for pre-recorded material such as video tutorials, video resources, and instructional videos.

Do I need audio descriptions?

  • Yes – if the video contains graphic elements that are not explained by the narrator in the video.
  • No – if the narrator in the video describes all the actions and graphic elements portrayed in the video. If a video does not represent content through visuals, it does not need audio descriptions, but the video would require captioning.
  • Audio descriptions accessibility

Canvas 

 All videos must be captioned.
  • Ensure video files have captions.
  • Ensure audio files have transcripts.
 

PowerPoint 

All videos must be captioned.

  • Videos embedded in Microsoft Office are not accessible when the file is converted to Acrobat PDF. The video becomes an image.
  • Embedded videos are not accessible to screen reader users or users navigating with a keyboard or some other navigation device other than a mouse.
  • An alternative put the link of the video underneath the video itself.
 

Zoom 

Adding Closed Captions to your Zoom meetings is easy with CaptionSync. Zoom offers two options for recording meetings - Local Recording and Cloud Recording; you can use either option to record meetings that you wish to later have captioned. This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions on how to submit Zoom recorded meetings for captioning. 


YouTube

The content on YouTube is primarily based on videos, therefore captioning videos is essential. Captions will help videos reach a wider range of audience and make them accessible to people who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing. In addition, captions also benefit seeing viewers, captions can help the viewer understand when audio is distorted or when the viewer is a non-native speaker.

  • Transcripts are text versions of multimedia files. Transcripts can be used for videos or audio recordings. Transcripts are typically useful for users to download and have access to the text of the media.
  • Closed captioning are captions that can be turned off and on by the user.
  • Open captioning are captions that remain on screen and cannot be turned off.
  • Audio descriptions describe the visuals that are portrayed in the video. Examples of what can be included in an audio description are if the video includes diagrams or charts.

The easiest way to add captions on YouTube videos is:

  1. Navigate to Video Manager
  2. Select the Edit button
  3. Select Subtitles/CC
  4. Select Add new subtitles or CC button
  5. Decide if you want to add or edit subtitles or closed captions

 


Vimeo

Closed Captioning your own Vimeo videos is quite easy with CaptionSync. Vimeo provides a mechanism for video owners to upload a caption file along with their video file. The caption file can be added at any time. 

Facebook

Users have two options to embed captions on Facebook:

  1. By uploading a SubRip Subtitle (SRT) file or
  2. By editing the video after uploading and manually adding the captions.
  1. SubRip Subtitle (SRT) files use the file’s subtitles and timings to match them with the video on the screen. Content creators must ensure that the file is properly formatted and labeled for the captions to correctly appear on screen visit Common SRT Formatting Issues.
  2. Users can upload a video on YouTube and add captions, a less technical route.
  3. An alternative link to a captioned YouTube video.

Twitter

Videos on Twitter do not have a feature to add captions on a tweet. However, there are workarounds to ensure video accessibility. 
  • Content creators can link to a captioned or audio described videos. Alternatively, users can also edit or encode captions on the video itself.
  • Twitter Media Studio users can upload closed captions to Twitter videos. There are apps that will add open captions to videos while users recording them. Clipomatic and Clips for iOS devices, and AutoCap for Android devices offer live auto-captioning and editing.
  • Content creators working from a desktop/laptop computer, tools like Camtasia and Kapwing allow to “burn” open captions onto video using a caption file. 
  • An alternative link to a captioned YouTube video.

Instagram

Instagram does not have a feature to add captions to videos.
  • Users would need to add captions directly to the video itself.
  • there are apps that will add open captions to videos while users recording them. Clipomatic and Clips for iOS devices, and AutoCap for Android devices offer live auto-captioning and editing.
  • Content creators working from a desktop/laptop computer, tools like Camtasia and Kapwing allow to “burn” open captions onto video using a caption file.
  • Refer to Accounts that Practice Good Captioning on Instagram for more information.
  • An alternative link to a captioned YouTube video.


LinkedIn

To add captions on videos uploaded on LinkedIn, a SubRip Subtitle (SRT) file is required. For more information visit LinkedIn: Adding Captions to Videos
  • An alternative to SRT files is embedding.
  • YouTube videos with captioning.

Resources