Accessible Online Content: Video

Accessible Online Content: Video

UAA is committed to ensuring that all of its students – regardless of disability or other challenges – can accomplish their academic goals. This blog will cover principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), an approach to designing courses and assignments in a way that serves all users and avoids segregating or stigmatizing any students, as it pertains to video content you are creating and posting in online course environments.

What does it mean to create accessible video?

For the purposes of ADA in higher education, a video created to share lectures or other course content must have captioning available. At UAA YouTube and Kaltura Media hosting both offer caption solutions. It is up to the creator of the video to create and edit captioning on video that will be posted in an online course management system. The captioning should be word for word transcript that matches the recorded voice.

What if I do not have captions on my current course video?

If you have video currently posted in courses that you would like to reuse captions can be added. If your video is in YouTube, you can request automatic captioning and use the YouTube interface to edit it. If you currently have videos hosted in YouTube and would like to move them to the Kaltura: My Media server, you can request machine captioning as you upload the videos. Once the captions are created you can use the integrated Cielo24 interface to edit the captions for accuracy. Captioning will appear everywhere the video is embedded so you may create and embed before the captions are completed, but make sure they are completed by the time students need access to that material.

What if I am using other videos that I did not create?

All video should be reviewed for accessibility standards. In order to be posted in your online course, the video needs to have captions or a transcript available for students. If it does not, you may ask the creator for the information, find a similar resource that is captioned, or create a transcript of the video yourself. Currently most publisher, library, and government materials have accessible options.

How do I review if video has captioning or transcripts available?

Go to the video and watch it. If it has captioning available, select the option to view the captions. In YouTube and Kaltura this option is normally a toggle button on the video player. If it is not captioned research if there is a transcript available. It is good practice to review the captioning and transcript for accuracy. If you do not find these options, you will need to research and find similar material that is accessible. Don't forget to connect with your library liaison for assistance in finding materials in our library databases and archives.
  • Using YouTube Automatic Captioning

    YouTube offers all users a free captioning software that will generate captioning that may be edited for accuracy. 

  • Using Kaltura Machine Captioning

    Kaltura offers a machine-captioning tool called Cielo24 that allows a user to upload a video and request captioning that may be edited for accuracy. 

  • Reviewing Video Media for Accessibility

    If you are looking at video content to use in your online course, you should always review the material for accessibility. When reviewing video always look for:

    • Closed or Open Captions
    • Subtitles
    • Text Transcripts
    • Accessibility Notices

    Closed captions or open captions are used to describe, to the deaf or hard of hearing, all significant audio content. Subtitles assume the viewer can hear, but may not understand the language or accent of the speaker. Both use printed text across the viewing screen to match the audio recorded in the video production. Text transcripts can be used in placed of captions in video, but they are not favored by those who are hard of hearing or deaf. Captions onscreen allow for a viewer to see and understand what is happening, equal to a hearing user, which makes the experience equal for all.

    Accessibility notices will alert you and other users of the accessibility options of the media. All publisher created material and other material chosen to use within your course should have accessiblity options.

    Read more on captions & subtitles here

Resources & Bibliography

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). (n.d.) Information and Technical Assistance on the American with Disabilities Act.Retrieved from

Blackboard Help. (2017). Accessibility compliance: Blackboard Learn. Retrieved from 

Web AIM. (2013, August 29). Captions, Transcripts, and Audio Descriptions. Retrieved from

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