Caption Questions and Support

Why do I need captions?

Captions provide a more inclusive and accessible experience for all users to access your content. Captions benefit many users, and studies have also shown that captions increase the number of views on a video because they are ranked higher in search engine results.

Will my college or unit be responsible for the cost of captioning non-academic videos?

Yes. Each unit is responsible for the cost of captioning all video content published by that unit. There is an account setup with a quality captioning vendor that is available for any department to use. We have been able to negotiate lower pricing for this captioning service, with the cost being only about $1.10 per minute of video. This price is dependent on how quickly you need your videos to be captioned. If budget is a concern, training and resources on how to caption your own videos are available.

How can I caption my own videos?

While we recommend submitting videos to be captioned through our professional captioning vendor, there are also other resources available to caption videos in-house. Some platforms commonly used are YouTube, Adobe Premiere, Kaltura,, and Amara. Before publishing your captions, be sure they meet the Caption Quality Standards

Can I use the auto-generated (machine) captions created by YouTube?

Machine captions can be a helpful place to start when creating captions. However, without human revision, they are often inaccurate and can adversely affect the experience viewers have with your content.  

What if captions are burned into my video?

Burned in captions are considered open captions. While burned in captions are better than nothing, they don’t meet our standards for a couple of reasons. First, when captions are made available as text, the user has the ability to change the font size and color, which is important for some users who may have vision issues as well as hearing issues. Second, if the captions are not available as a text sidecar file, we lose a lot of the benefits, such as the ability to edit and search them. The last issue is that we have found some people prefer to watch videos without captions.

Do we need to caption videos published before July 1, 2022?

All video or audio content published on university websites must be captioned or have transcripts available, regardless of when it was published. Although videos on third party platforms published before July 1, 2022 do not need to be proactively captioned, every platform must provide a way for captions to be requested and have them provided within 7 business days.

What if I host live streams?

Captions are not required while the event is being streamed, but they may be helpful, especially for large events. However, if you are making a recording available of the live stream and publishing it on a University website or third-party platform, the live stream will need to be captioned post-production. If you have questions about captioning live streams, reach out to us for help!

What about videos in my Canvas course?

For instructional videos in the Canvas learning management system, the Disability Resource Center works with instructors to ensure videos are captioned for students who require captions as an accommodation. However, we are also able to help caption videos proactively through the Center for Innovative Design and Instruction. All we need is to have videos being used in the course added to the course Media Gallery. If you have worked with an instructional designer at CIDI, they can help you add the videos to the Media Gallery. Otherwise, you can contact any member of their team. After the videos are added to the Media Gallery, send an email to with the course link and a brief message that the videos have been added to the Media Gallery, and we’ll get them submitted to our captioning vendor. Be sure to let us know if there are any videos in the Media Gallery you are not planning on using. 

What training or resources are available to help caption our content?

Digital Accessibility Services can provide training on captioning videos and audits of videos on websites and some third-party platforms.

Relevant Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (A & AA)

Success Criteria 1.2.2: Captions (Prerecorded):

Captions are provided for all prerecorded audio content in synchronized media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such. (Level A)

Understanding Success Criteria 1.2.2

Success Criteria 1.2.4: Captions (Live):

Captions are provided for all live audio content in synchronized media. (Level AA)

Understanding Success Criteria 1.2.4