Make Video Accessible

The goal of accessible learning is that a person with a disability will obtain the information as fully, equally, and independently as a person without a disability. When a learning setting is accessible, a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally integrated manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use. 

The most important part of making videos accessible is adding captions. Captioned video provides many pedagogical benefits. Not only does captioning allow students with hearing disabilities to access the information in the video, it also allows all students to engage with information in a way that may be more effective for their learning styles. Research from Oregon State University shows that 98.6% of all surveyed students found captions helpful, with 75% using them as a learning tool.

See the LSCS Web Accessibility Statement for information about LSCS policy and links to applicable law regarding captioning.

Caption Your Own Videos

LSC's lecture capture solution, TechSmith Knowmia, provides the ability to caption videos in a straightforward fashion. See below:

NOTE: LSC-Online does not have caption editors or caption administrators available.

Recording Tip

Whenever you record audio or video, we recommend thinking of it as a radio broadcast where only your words and inflection come through. Materials that are solely visual, should be described verbally to be accessible to someone who is blind. If PowerPoint or other files are shown in a video, make the actual .ppt or .pptx files (source files) available to students for review.

Link to a Video on Another Website

We recommend that any video you link in your course be captioned. The LSC Library has a wide selection of captioned media that you can use; check with your Subject Area Librarian. Other places you may find video to link to:

Use Videos from YouTube

Almost all YouTube videos have a CC button, but be warned: captions could be auto-generated and are sometimes quite awful. 

To search for videos captioned by a human

  1. Enter your search term (for this example, let's say I'm searching for videos on volcanoes) in the YouTube search field.
  2. Add a ", CC"
  3. Press Enter or click the magnifying glass icon.Shows YouTube search box with volcanoes,cc as an example.

To determine if a YouTube video has auto-generated captions or captions done by a human (much preferred):

  1. Click on the Settings button in the bottom right corner of the video player.
    Identifies the Settings icon.
  2. Choose Subtitles/CC.
  3. Make sure there is an English option, and not just an English (auto-generated) option.
     Shows English selection.

Search Google for Captioned Video

  1. Fill out the Advanced Video Search fields that you need.
  2. Choose the "Subtitles: Closed captioned only" option.
  3. Press Enter or click the Advanced Video Search button.

Ensure the Media Player Is Keyboard Accessible

We know that YouTube, Vimeo, and the Distance Education streaming media players are keyboard accessible players. The other advantage to these players is that they optimize the video streaming to the user's best settings. If you are using a different video player, please test it to make sure it can be used by those who cannot use a mouse.

Keyboard accessibility

  1. Whatever the operation or behavior, make sure a mouse is not required.
  2. Use the following keyboard keys to navigate and interact with the web page and all of its content:
    • Tab
    • Arrow keys
    • Enter
    • Spacebar

PowerPoints with Audio Narration

It is best if you use Camtasia to record audio narration of a PowerPoint for several reasons (ease of captioning, ability to play on multiple platforms, ability to play without proprietary software), but if you are determined to create a PowerPoint with audio narration, visit this Microsoft support page. Make sure you confirm that all of your students have the software required to play the PowerPoint with the narration and subtitles.

Audio Descriptions

Need to describe the visual information on the screen for students who are blind?

Link to an Audio Recording on Another Website

Please check to see if a transcript exists and make sure your students know how to find it (if it's available).