Video Captioning

Prioritizing Captioning

This guide is intended to provide practical information to help faculty members make decisions on when and how to caption video instructional materials. General considerations include how many students will use the content and how many semesters the content is likely to be reused.

Highest Priority:

  • A student or university staff member has requested accommodation that requires captioning.
  • The material is to be used in an online course.
  • The material is posted to the university‚Äôs public-facing website and access is not restricted (as it might be if posted in Blackboard).
  • The material will be re-used more than one semester.
  • The material is being created new in newly revised segments of existing courses.

Also Consider:

  • Whenever possible, new multimedia purchases should be in an accessible state. Captions should be present and alt text should be included. If not, permission should be obtained to caption copyrighted material.
  • Captioning is a lower priority for lecture capture (posting a recording of a face-to-face class, or will only be used one semester) and it has been verified that there is no accommodation request on file for the class.

Captioning Procedures

Faculty are encouraged to consider universal design principles as they create instructional materials and select multimedia. When making textbook adoption decisions, please inquire of publishers regarding accessibility of any supplemental materials they provide. The USC Upstate Library is an excellent resource to help in locating and providing suggestions for accessible versions of certain materials.

Keep in mind that copyrighted material that we do no own cannot be captioned without express permission of the content owner, so take care when selecting supplemental media materials from the Internet.

Consult with your departmental Access Advocate for assistance in making captioning decisions. Members of the Access Committee, and staff in the Department of Learning Technologies are also available to help.

New instructional materials should be made accessible as they are created, including captioning of video. Faculty may choose to produce their own captions at the time their video is created using Camtasia and/or YouTube.


  1. Captioning Prioritization, California State University
  2. Captioning Guidelines, California State University, Chico