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Accessibility: Audio & Video

Multimedia presentations with audio and video are an excellent way to engage online students and provide them with alternative modalities of learning. However, learners with hearing impairments must have equivalent access to the audio components, and learners with visual impairments require equivalent access to the visual components.


Captions are text versions of the spoken word presented on screen during multimedia presentations. Although captioning is primarily intended to assist hearing impaired learners, captions can also be very useful for those who are not fluent in the spoken language. Captions should be used when the timing of the spoken word needs to corresponds to the video — for example during a step-by-step demonstration.

Adding captions to videos can be a time-consuming process. However, YouTube provides an automated captioning feature that is fairly accurate — though some editing will be required. At this time, Kaltura does not provide an auto-caption feature. Captions must be created manually and uploaded to the video.

Creating Closed Captions


Transcripts are text-based documents that describe the sequence of spoken and visual information in multimedia presentations using audio and video which can be read back to visually impaired learners using screen readers. In addition to dialog, transcripts provide visually impaired learners with descriptions of visual information that is not expressed through the audio.

Writing Effective Transcripts

  • Use Microsoft Word and save as PDF.
  • Include identifying information for the video including title, source, and date produced.
  • Use headings and subheadings to identify topic sections.
  • Indicate who is speaking. The first time someone speaks, identify them by full name and title.
  • Transcribe the dialog. It does not have to be verbatim.
  • Describe activities in video that convey important information.
  • Upload the PDF file to your course and provide a link for learners to download the document.

Last updated: 2/18/2020