Why Do We Caption Videos?

Captioned videos allows equal access to the content for students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHOH). Captions are text displayed on the screen to represent what is being said as well as important sound cues. Spoken words in the video are captioned verbatim.

Federal laws (such as the Americans with Disabilities Act) and University policy require this accommodation for eligible individuals. For more information visit the Equal Opportunity and Access website.

In order for media with an auditory component to be accessible for students who are Deaf/hard of hearing, Disability Access Services (DAS) will caption to a copy of the media that was originally produced without captions.

What Faculty Should Expect at the Beginning of the Term

Early Notification of Academic Support Services Email

This email is sent to faculty when eligible students register with DAS online services. It provides information about the kinds of accommodations for which the student is eligible and requests information about videos that the faculty member plans to show in class during the term.

DHOH Video Reminder Letter

If faculty do not respond to the Early Notification email, a reminder email will be sent by Captioning Services. The process of adding captions to videos is time intensive for DAS. Faculty are encouraged to respond promptly as this will allow DAS to complete the captioning process by the planned view date.

If faculty Do NOT intend to show videos

Faculty response is greatly appreciated even if they do not plan to show any media in class.

If no response is given DAS will continue to reach out to the faculty to make sure there are no uncaptioned videos.

If faculty do intend to show videos

It is recommended that faculty verify that the video(s) have or do not have captions. There are a few different ways to gather this information.

Determining whether a video has captions or not

Hardcopies of videos (DVD’s, Blu-Ray’s)

Videos that are closed-captioned often have the symbol "CC" displayed inside a black square on the box of the video. Most classrooms on campus have equipment that allows the use of closed-captioned videos/DVD’s/Blu-ray’s.

Please note that although most DVD’s/Blu-Ray’s now have subtitles, English subtitles are not always available. We recommend that the faculty check the DVD/Blu-Ray in advance to determine if the media contains English subtitles. Faculty should contact the DAS office if in need of assistance.

Online video content

Most online media players have an option to turn on closed captions. There is generally a button that can be clicked to turn captions on. The button will have the “CC” symbol. Please note that many YouTube videos have the option to display “Automatic Captions”. This is not an acceptable accommodation because of its high inaccuracy. DAS recommends that faculty follow the instructions in the captioning notification email and provide DAS with links to the media for inspection.

Videos without Captions

Once a video has been determined to not have acceptable/no captions, DAS will begin the process of creating the captioned copy. This is a time intensive process and requires adequate time for DAS to complete. It’s imperative that faculty start communicating with Captioning Services as soon as possible after receiving the captioning notification email. The details of the captioning process and timeline is found in this email. If faculty plans on showing a hardcopy of a video DAS can send a DAS staff member to retrieve the video and start the captioning process. This includes making a copy of the video. Once the copy has been made, DAS will return the original to the faculty. This generally happens within 48 hours.

Turning on Captions - Hardcopy

For videos that are delivered in a hard copy format (DVD, Blu-ray) faculty should not have to turn on captions. DAS will deliver the captioned copy to the faculty prior to the start of the class. The captions will be embedded on the disk and will play alongside the video. If faculty is using a DAS approved VHS tape, captioning can be turned on using the “CC” button on the VHS player. For more help on in-classroom equipment please contact Classroom Technology Services.

Turning on Captions - Online

In most cases the media will be hosted on Oregon States MediaSpace (online) and should have captions turned on by default. If the video plays and no captions appear, please click on the “CC” button and select “DAS-English”. The link to access the video will be sent to the faculty by Captioning Services prior to the start of the class.

Captioning Timeline

Captioning content is a time intensive process. In order to ensure media accessibility please review the following timelines.

  • For videos under 10 minutes, please provide 72 hours prior to show date
  • For videos 10-20 minutes, please provide 5 business days prior to show date
  • For videos 20-60+ minutes, please provide 14 business days prior to show date

*For videos that require Audio Descriptions, please provide 10 business days prior to show date

Working with DAS through the captioning process

Your primary contacts will be Captioning Services and the Assistive Technology Manager. Captioning Services will communicate with faculty on updates and answer any questions or concerns the faculty may have. The most important factor in communicating with Captioning Services is for faculty to respond to the initial Notification Email as soon as possible to get the process started.
For questions or concerns please contact: captioning.services@oregonstate.edu or the Assistive Technology Manager at 541-737-3666.

Accessible Media

In order to ensure access to instructional materials, all media must be captioned when being shown in classes in which students who are deaf/hard of hearing are enrolled. If faculty receives an email from DAS regarding a student eligible for captioned media, faculty should contact Captioning Services at captioning.services@oregonstate.edu as soon as possible. DAS will add captions to a copy of the media, but the process is time-intensive and generally requires a minimum of two weeks to complete a one hour video/DVD.

Information that faculty will be asked to provide:

  • the title of the video/DVD/Blu-ray
  • the length of the video/DVD/Blu-ray
  • whether the video/DVD/Blu-ray is closed captioned or subtitled
  • the owner of the video/DVD/Blu-ray (private party, department, Valley Library collection, etc.)
  • the anticipated show date for the video/DVD/Blu-ray
  • the link for any YouTube clips you plan to use

DAS staff will make arrangements to pick up the video/DVD/Blu-ray from the specified location. The original copy will generally be returned within 48 hours. The captioned media will be made available before the planned view date.



Page Updated 07/2021