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Accessibility Tip: Captioning Basics

Most online courses include a variety of media for instruction and assessment, including videos, lectures, or podcasts. Providing captions for these types of media is an important step to ensure all students can access and learn from them equally. In fact, captions are a legal requirement under Section 508 and the ADA for all audio materials, regardless of whether you currently have a student enrolled who needs that accommodation. Luckily, there are many tools available at the university to make captioning fast and easy. 

If you are using Panopto for video hosting in your course, your videos are auto-captioned when you upload them. This is done using AI, not a human transcriber, so it is important to check your transcripts for accuracy and edit them if needed. You can make edits to your captions right in the Panopto interface. A similar process can be used for those who host videos on YouTube. For live online lectures, Zoom and Google Meet provide auto-captions and transcripts in real time, but the setting needs to be turned on. Like the services from Panopto and YouTube, these auto-captions are not always accurate, so if you plan to save your recordings and post them for later viewing, you may still need to correct them. 

For other audio formats, such as narrated PowerPoints, Storyline, or Captivate presentations, or if you need a human transcriber for your content, you can apply for a NC State Captioning Grant and have your audio transcribed at no cost. With so many options available, it is quick and easy to make your audio content accessible for all students. For more information, check out this article for more details about captioning options and requirements.