Video and Audio Accessibility Standard

Utah State University

In accordance with federal law and USU Policy 559, it is the responsibility of all colleges/departments, administrators, faculty, and staff to ensure that video and audio content is accessible to all users.

Note: Anywhere video is mentioned in the standard, the same standard applies to audio files. For audio files, a professional transcript (text file) is equivalent to a professional caption file.


Access Restricted
Access restricted video is not available to the public. It is only available behind a login for a specific audience.
Legacy Video
Legacy video includes video published on third-party platforms before July 1, 2022 that is not embedded or linked on a USU website.
Live Video
Live video includes video that is broadcast at the same time it is created.
Machine Captions
Machine captions are generated by an automated service that have not been reviewed by a human to ensure they meet the USU Captioning Quality Standards. Machine captions are not adequate to meet federal or university accessibility standards.
Professional Captions
Professional captions are completed by an approved vendor or edited by USU personnel to meet the USU Captioning Quality Standards.
Recorded Video
Recorded video includes any video prepared previously and made available for on-demand viewing.
Distribution Channels
Distribution channels include any video platforms (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, Kaltura, Soundcloud, etc.) or social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that are available to the public.
USU Video
USU video includes any video on university public websites or other distribution channels.


  1. USU video on USU websites must be captioned at the time it is added to a website.
  2. When USU video is hosted on distribution channels:
    1. New video must be captioned when published.
    2. Legacy video should be made accessible as a best practice, but captions are only required when requested. Distribution channels with uncaptioned USU video should include the following statement:
      “Captions are available upon request by sending an email to”
      or for audio recordings:
      “A transcript is available upon request by sending an email to”
  3. Standards for live video are not yet available. Units are encouraged to take reasonable measure to ensure live video is accessible.


Below are additional details on implementing these standards for different types of USU video:

Implementation Timeline for Recorded Video

  1. All new USU video published after July 1, 2022 must include professional captions when the video is published.
  2. All existing USU video that is embedded or linked on USU websites must be professionally captioned by July 31, 2022.
  3. Legacy video on third-party platforms should include a way to request captions on every channel that has uncaptioned USU video by July 1, 2022. Once a request for captions has been made, they must be provided within 7 business days.


To ensure compliance with these standards, regular (at least annual) reports will be run on known campus video and audio content. If an organization is out of compliance, a report will be shared with a representative from each campus organizational unit designated by each campus Vice President or Dean with an expectation that the issue/s will be resolved within 30 business days.

If issues are not resolved within 30 business days, they will be referred to the Office of the Executive Vice President & Provost.


Any requests for exceptions to the above standards will be reviewed individually by the campus Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Steering Committee. Lack of sufficient funding for any unit, department, or college of the university as the sole reason for an exception will not be considered.

Accommodation Request Option for Access Restricted Video

When USU video is access restricted, captions are not required when the following criteria are met:

  1. Everyone in the target audience is given the opportunity to request captions as an accommodation.
  2. Captions can be provided on the USU video within 7 days of the request.

Questions and Help

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. If budget is a concern, training and resources are available to caption your own videos.

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 captions provided within 7 business days.

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. Instructors can contact the Center for Innovative Design and Instruction for information on captioning videos proactively.

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

The campus Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility Coordinator 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