Creating Accessible Multimedia

What is Multimedia?

Multimedia includes digital video (YouTube), audio (podcasts), animations (Flash videos), or slideshows (PowerPoint, Prezi).

These types of media, while making the presentation of material more interesting, can also present problems for people with disabilities, especially those with hearing impairments.

What is Captioning?

Captioning provides a synchronized text transcript of the audio for any type of multimedia so that the information can be read as well as heard. This alternate method of delivery is vital for including those with hearing impairments, but it is also beneficial for other users, such as those learning the language used in the video.

The video transcript is also searchable, so users can find a specific point in the video, and search engines can bring more traffic to your site.

Copyright Concerns

The first step in captioning is to determine the owner of the video. If you do not own the video, you do not have the right to alter it - even to add captions. In these cases, contact the owner or publisher to ask for a captioned version.

Educators can use portions of copyrighted material under the "Fair Use" law, and in these cases captioning the material is allowed.

Captioning Solutions

CSU does not currently have a standard solution for captioning across campus. Some departments are using a "DIY" approach and captioning their materials in-house. This is a time-intensive process, and often relies on extra staffing.

Others are outsourcing to a company that specializes in captioning, which can be expensive if you have a lot of video content, but is more efficient.

DIY Options

Atomic Learning LogoTraining Videos on Captioning

These professional training videos are offered through Atomic Learning. Login is required. Contact the ATRC to get an account created.

Captioning with Camtasia

Captioning with Camtasia 7.1 - Should be helpful for other versions as well.

YouTube Captioning

  • Caution: YouTube has an automatic captioning feature, but the technology is not good enough to produce accurate captions. These nonsensical captions cause more harm than good, so avoid using the auto-caption feature.
  • Adding Captioning to YouTube Videos

Outsourcing Options for Captioning

Multimedia Resources