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Captioning Videos

Captioning FAQs

Why do we need to caption videos?

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires all media used or purchased by public agencies receiving federal/state funds be accessible. This also applies to online videos. Not only does captioning videos ensure UT is in compliance with federal legislation, it also ensures that everyone has access to the content.

Check out what one woman has to say about captioning videos:

How do I know if my current video is already closed-captioned?

Symbol for Closed Captioning; Black Box with CC insideOn the original video box cover, you will find the symbols to the left which indicate the video is closed-captioned.

Please note that “automatic captions” on online videos, such as Youtube, are not accurate and therefore not an effective way of providing access to video content.


My video indicates one of the closed-captioning symbols on the box cover, however the captions do not appear on the TV screen, what do I do?

If you are showing the video through a laptop or DVD hooked up directly to a projector, it is very likely there is no captioning decoder/feature set up.  You will need to utilize a T.V. with a captioning decoder.  Contact the IT Department and have them make arrangements to ensure the equipment you are utilizing allows for closed-captions to be used.

The video you provide will have ‘open captions’ placed on it, which means anytime you show the video, the captions will always be present (cannot ‘turn off-on’ the captions like closed-captioning capabilities.)

The quality of the video will depend on the quality of the original video provided.  Each time a copy of the video is made, the quality progressively worsens.  If your original video is already of poor quality, you can expect the quality of your returned video with captions will have a slightly reduced quality affect.

If your video is not captioned, please follow the procedure listed below.

Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services (LAITS) Transcription/Captioning Request Procedure:

  • If you have a a Deaf/Hard of Hearing student in your class and need captioned versions of videos, please follow the procedure below.
  • Captioning videos for other purposes will be at the cost of the college or department requesting the transcription/captioning.

Before you submit this request, please check to ensure that a version of the video with captions/subtitles is not already available for purchase.  This would be a more efficient and cost effective means of providing accessible material.

1. Contact Lauren Kinast at to confirm the student’s enrollment in your course and to receive the IDT number to cover the cost of captioning. Captioning videos for other purposes will be at the cost of the college or department requesting the transcription/captioning.

2. Deliver Source Media (VHS, DVD, Mini DV, and/or SD Card) to the front desk of Liberal Arts ITS (MEZ 2.302), along with completed Video Duplication Request, using IDT account number provided by SSD Office.  The request form is also available online, at:

3. Upon receipt of captioned files from transcription service, transcript will be reviewed by LAITS for general accuracy, and delivered to Requestor via links to downloadable files:

i.      Mp4 file of compressed source media

ii.      XML file of transcript/caption

4. Requests are processed in the order they are received.  Normal turnaround time is 5-10 business days.  Deliverables will be available for downloading for 30 days.   Request may also be made to keep compressed file and captioned file available on our Media Server, to provide video playback for designated period of time.

*Note:  Expedite Fees will apply, should deliverable be required outside normal turnaround time.