Does all the multimedia I show in the classroom and/or post online for my students have to be captioned?
If you have a deaf/hard-of-hearing student in your class, absolutely yes.
If you do not have a deaf/hard-of-hearing student in your class and you use the multimedia resources more than one semester, absolutely yes.
If you do not have a deaf/hard-of-hearing student in your class, and the multimedia material is only for the current semester (e.g., YouTube current event), the multimedia does not have to be captioned.
There is no need to caption if the material is student work or other raw footage that will not be archived or shared among other students.
There is no need to caption longer works if you are just pulling clips from them. Compile the clips into a montage and have the montage captioned.
If the video already has foreign language subtitles, do not caption unless requested to do so as an accommodation.
Under what circumstances can I show uncaptioned multimedia resources to my class which includes a student who is deaf/hard-of-hearing?
None. Don’t even think about it.
What happens if we do not provide hearing-impaired students timely access to captioned multimedia?
Students with disabilities who believe they have not been provided the appropriate accommodations to which they are legally entitled may sue SMC and/or the faculty/staff members involved. Students can also file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights. If the Office of Civil Rights comes to SMC to investigate a complaint, every aspect of accessibility will be scrutinized in addition to the complaint.
What about audio-only files like podcasts?
The same principles apply to creating transcripts for audio files as for creating captioning multimedia like videos and DVDs.
Is a transcript an adequate accommodation for multimedia like videos and DVDs?
No. The appropriate access strategy for multimedia is synchronous captions.
Do I have to create my own transcripts?
No, but… If you can create or obtain transcripts, the captioning process is significantly expedited. Most of the time-consuming work lies in generating the transcripts. You will be thanked profusely and profoundly appreciated.
Adding captions to your multimedia instructional materials is Santa Monica College’s legal responsibility. Faculty are not expected to caption the multimedia shown in their classrooms. However, it is strongly recommended that you create your own captions when using multimedia creation software that facilitates creating captions (e.g., Camtasia, Articulate). If you want support in creating your own captions for any type of multimedia, contact Tom Peters, x8706.
What is the very first step in the captioning process and how long does the process typically take?
Check to see if the content is already captioned. Getting the captions to show can sometimes be challenging. Feel free to contact Elena Throckmorton at firstname.lastname@example.org, x4267, or Lisa Courto at email@example.com, x4267, if you are not sure whether captions exist. If it is established that captions are not present in the video, the next step is find out if the copyright owner of the video has a captioned version available. If no captioned version is available, consult with Elena, Lisa, or Christine about how you request permission to caption.
Once permission to caption the video is granted, the entire process can take up to 5 weeks depending on the length and complexity of the video.
How do I request transcripts and/or captions for my multimedia?
If you need captions or transcripts created for content posted within Canvas - online classes, hybrid classes, enhancing on-ground classes (i.e. Canvas) - contact Christine Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Distance Education, x3765.
If you are providing multimedia resources for your students that will not be shown within Canvas please contact Elena Throckmorton at email@example.com, x4267, or Lisa Courto at firstname.lastname@example.org, x4267.
If you have a hearing-impaired student in one of your courses and need captions or transcripts created ASAP expressly to accommodate that student, contact Denise Henninger (manager of Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing services) at email@example.com, x4497, or the Center for Students with Disabilities, x4265 immediately.
To help ensure hearing-impaired students receive appropriate accommodations, Denise will notify professors approximately three weeks before the start of each semester if there is a deaf/hard-of-hearing student enrolled in one of their courses. Such notification is not a perfect process as hearing-impaired students, just like any other students, can add courses. Additionally, hearing-impaired students who add distance education courses may not inform Denise as they will not need to arrange for interpreters or real-time captioning as they would for on-ground courses. Please keep in mind that such ad hoc captioning to accommodate individual students cannot legally be SMC’s approach. Our legal mandate is to purchase/create captioned multimedia so every hearing-impaired student has timely, equal access to our multimedia resources.
Waiting until a deaf/hard-of-hearing student enrolls in your class to caption is risky as captioning is a time-consuming task. If faculty have a deaf/hard-of-hearing student in their classes and their multimedia is NOT captioned, the multimedia cannot be shown at all.
Do publishers have to caption their multimedia resources?
Indeed they do. Given the federal mandate for captioned instructional materials, multimedia publisher content should be captioned. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. It is critical that you enquire about captioned multimedia before adopting publisher content. If there is no captioned multimedia publisher resources that meet your needs, please notify Christine Miller, x3765, or Elena Throckmorton at firstname.lastname@example.org, x4267, or Lisa Courto at email@example.com, x4267, immediately, so the resources can be captioned ASAP.
Below are questions to inform the captioning conversation with publishers.
Are the videos captioned?
What is the format of the videos (examples of acceptable formats: .wmv, .mov, .rm, .mp4, .avi, .flv)?
Contact Christine Miller at ext. 3765, Elena Throckmorton, ext. 4267, or Lisa Courto ext. 4267 if you have any questions on video formatting.
Does the content include audio files? If yes, are there transcripts available?
Why would I use your content if I can find accessible content from another publisher?
Special Note: When talking with publishers, please also include the questions below to expand the discussion beyond captioning.
Are the resources compliant with
Section 508 guidelines? How was this validated? Was it tested by people using assistive technologies like screen readers for the blind?
Is there a text equivalent for all visual content?
Can someone navigate and respond solely through the keyboard?
When should I request that transcripts and/or captions be created?
Please request that your multimedia be captioned as soon as you choose to include multimedia for a course. Creating captions and transcripts is a pain-staking, time-consuming process. Making your captioning and transcription needs known as soon as possible will eliminate last-minute scrambling to provide accommodations. If faculty have a deaf/hard-of-hearing student in their classes and their multimedia is NOT captioned, the multimedia cannot be shown.
How does the California Community Colleges Distance Education Captioning and Transcription Grant help us?
Through this grant, we request transcripts and captioning for the following purposes:
distance education courses
hybrid classes (some instructional hours offered at a distance);
on-campus classes utilizing distance methods of content delivery as they evolve (e.g., class capture, web conferencing, vodcasting, podcasting, content posted within a Learning Management System); and
digital learning object repositories used to collect and make available digitized content; this content could be used by on-campus, hybrid, online, and other delivery methods.
You are strongly encouraged to submit your multimedia while
Distance Education Captioning and Transcription Grant funding is still available.
Do I need to obtain copyright permission before requesting a video/DVD is captioned?
Yes. Christine Miller; Elena Throckmorton or Lisa Courto (HTTC); or our Alternate Media Specialist, Aaron French, will request permission on your behalf. If you can obtain the permission on your own please share this in writing with Elena Throckmorton or Lisa Courto, or Christine Miller.
How do I obtain copyright permission for a YouTube video and other Internet multimedia resources?
Christine Miller; Elena Throckmorton or Lisa Courto; or our Alternate Media Specialist, Aaron French, will email the owner of the resources and request permission to caption.
If you would like to request permission yourself, follow the links below to sample letters.
Please link to the page
YouTube and Captioning for information on creating captions for YouTube videos.
Please link to the page,
Sample Letters for examples of captioning request letters.
What equipment/features do I need to show subtitled/captioned multimedia in the classroom?
You can use a TV /VHS player cart along with its remote control to adjust the captioning settings.
You can use the VHS player connected to our smart classroom projectors. This option requires that the projector has a decoder. The newest generation of projectors has decoders. The older generation does not. Please contact Jim Serikawa, x4829, in the Media Center to find out whether the projector in your classroom has a built-in decoder. If it does not, Jim will help you with the installation of a portable decoder. He needs a least two days advanced notice to ensure installation.
Play the DVD through a computer using the mouse to adjust the settings.
Classroom DVD Player
A decoder must be present to show captions through our classrooms’ DVD players. Just as with the VHS player option above, please contact Jim Serikawa, x4829, in the Media Center to find out whether the projector in your classroom has a built-in decoder. If it does not, Jim will help you with the installation of a portable decoder. He needs a least two days advanced notice to ensure installation.
Subtitles are available without needing a decoder.
There are many variables in making closed captions appear properly when playing DVDs.
We strongly encourage you to try playing the captioned DVD in your classroom well before you plan to show it to your class. If you have any problems, contact Elena Throckmorton, x4267, or Lisa Courto, x4267. If they are not available, contact Aaron French, x8934.