Captioning and Transcription


The captioning of video/audio materials allows equal access to the content for students who are deaf/hard of hearing. Captions are text added in post-production and displayed on the screen to represent what is being said, as well as important sound cues.

For students

Students should first discuss captioned media accommodations with their AEC advisor. Upon request from students, the AEC will caption media used in classes in which they are enrolled that was originally produced without captions.

For faculty

Upon receipt of a request from eligible students, the AEC will send an email to instructors informing them of the need for captioned media. This email will also outline other deaf/hard of hearing-related accommodations for which the student is eligible, such as sign language interpretation or real-time transcription. If faculty do not respond to this initial email, reminder emails will be sent.

The process of adding captions to videos is a time-intensive process. Faculty are encouraged to respond promptly as this will allow the AEC to complete the captioning process in a timely manner. Faculty must indicate what the anticipated view date will be. We ask that videos be submitted for captioning at least two weeks prior to the planned view date. While every effort will be made to caption materials as quickly as possible when submitted with less than two weeks’ notice, please be aware that we may not be able to complete the process by the required view date. If there is an assignment tied to the viewing of the video, we ask that the student be afforded flexibility in completing the assignment.

Determining whether a video has captions or not

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

Commercially produced videos (DVDs, Blu-Rays, VHS tapes)

Videos that are closed captioned will have the symbol "CC" displayed inside a black square on the box of the video. Most classrooms on campus have equipment that can be set to display closed captions. Some DVDs/Blu-Rays have English subtitles, as well. If there is an option for subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, please choose that option as it will include captions of important sound cues.

If you are unsure whether the equipment can display closed captions or do not know how to turn on the captions, please contact Classroom Technology Support at (541) 346-3091 or submit a ticket

Online 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.

If you need assistance in determining if your videos are captioned, please indicate that when submitting the video for captioning.

Videos without captions

Once it has been determined that a video needs captions, the AEC will begin the process of creating a captioned version of the video. This involves setting up a OneDrive folder to which faculty can upload video files to be captioned and download completed captioned versions. One advantage of storing videos in OneDrive is that these videos will be available to the faculty for use in future terms. Videos captioned by the AEC will have embedded captions, i.e. there is no need to do anything to turn the captions on.

We strongly recommend showing captioned versions regardless of whether there is a deaf/hard of hearing student in class. Captions have proven to be beneficial to individuals who are not deaf/hard of hearing, such as those whose first language is not English or when viewing the video when in a location with poor acoustics.

If the video is on a disc or video cassette, an AEC staff member will coordinate retrieving the video, converting it to a video file, and starting the captioning process. Once the video has been converted to a digital file, the original video will be returned to the faculty. When the captioned version is complete, it will be uploaded to OneDrive. If the captioned video must be returned on a disc, please let us know.

Real-Time and Auto- Transcription

Transcription is most commonly provided for students who are deaf/hard of hearing to provide access to what is being said in real-time. The process involves a transcriber using software to create a real-time transcript that is wirelessly transmitted to an electronic device the student uses to read during class. This is accomplished either by an in-person transcriber or by connecting to a remote provider. In the remote class environment, a transcriber may be assigned to join a Zoom class session.

For faculty 

If you are holding course sessions via Zoom, we encourage you to enable live transcription so that students have the option of viewing auto-generated transcription during class. While auto-generated transcription may not be accurate enough to meet specific accommodation needs, it can be an effective universal design strategy that may benefit many students.

  1. Go to, click Sign in, and log in with your Duck ID and password
  2. Click Settings, then Meeting, then In Meeting (Advanced)
  3. Under Closed Captioning, check the box next to Enable live transcription service to show transcript on the side panel in-meeting
  4. At the beginning of each Zoom session, you must enable live transcription to allow students to view. 

If AEC determines that a professional transcriber should be assigned to your class to meet a specific accommodation need, AEC will reach out to you. To add the assigned transcriber to your Zoom sessions, please follow these steps:

  1. Enable Closed Captioning BEFORE the class starts. Once enabled, it should remain that way for the term. (Zoom Settings > In Meeting (Advanced) > Closed Captioning. Toggle setting to "On". Make sure "Save captions" is also toggled to "On".)
  2. For each class, the writer will need to be assigned as a closed captioner by right-clicking their name or selecting the dropdown arrow. There will be a couple of options and select "assign this person to type". For breakout rooms, you will need to group the captioner with the student with the accommodation and assign them to type.
  3. Don't end the session abruptly. Because of how Zoom is designed, the transcribers are not able to save a copy of the transcript if the Zoom meeting is shut off right away. Allow a minute or two for the transcriber to save the transcript for the student. 

Please direct any questions to the AEC sign language interpreting and transcribing coordinator at (541) 346-1162 or