Accessible Video:

Video, Captions & Transcriptions

Understanding the Options

What is a Caption?

A caption is a synchronized transcript of audio content and is displayed as an additional tract on a video. Captions help many people including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, who are working in a noisy environment, who are second language learners, who have trouble processing auditory content, and some who just like to see words and concepts spelled out.

Are captions required?

Yes. All video intended for course purposes in Brightspace must be captioned to ensure ADA compliance.

What is a Transcript?

A transcript is a text version of the dialogue in a video or audio track. IT is typically time-synched to the video or audio file. It is not displayed on a video, but is instead provided below the video. A transcript helps all the same people who benefit from captions. It may also be easily downloaded and read by a screen reader.

Are transcripts required?

Yes. At this time, a full transcript is required for any audio files utilized in Brightspace. If you need help creating a transcript for an audio file or for a video, one can be created for you. Use the Captioning Request Form linked in the section below.

What is an Audio Description?

An audio description is an additional narration that provides a textual description of the action, characters, and other visual content in a video. It is especially helpful for blind and visually impaired users. An audio description tract is often played between captions or during pauses in dialogue. This trailer from the movie Frozen is a good example of audio descriptions.

Are audio descriptions required?

No. Few video players currently support audio descriptions, but we expect to see this become more of the norm in the near future.


Video, Captioning & Transcription Services - PimaOnline Media Lab

The PimaOnline Media Lab offers specific services, prioritizing PimaOnline course development projects. Please use the forms below to request a specific service.

Please Note: Videos made with the support of the PimaOnline Media Lab will be edited and captioned by PimaOnline staff before they are made available in courses. Videos created for PimaOnline Master Courses will be stored in the CLT YouTube Channel. This way, we ensure they remain accessible for the life of the course.

How Do I Caption My Video?

You Tube Option (auto-generated captions that you edit)

To add a video to YouTube:

  1. Sign in to YouTube (you will need an account).

  2. Click the "upload" link in the upper right.

  3. Select the video on your computer.

  4. Click Publish. (See YouTube's upload instructions for more details)

  5. When YouTube adds captions to your video, you must edit them.

Because voice recognition software isn't perfect, auto-generated captions are frequently inaccurate and should be reviewed and edited. A few hours or so after uploading your video, follow these instructions to review and edit the captions in your YouTube Account Manager.


Tips for Writing Captions

  • If there are multiple speakers, identify each speaker by putting their name in brackets followed by a colon. [James]:

  • If there are multiple speakers, but the name is unknown, identify the speaker by a characteristic. [Female Announcer]:

  • Sound effects should be included above dialogue and on a line alone. [ROCKS FALLING] or [Audience Clapping] or even [silence]:

  • Use objective adjectives to describe music (not subjective terms like "beautiful"): [Guitar Strumming] or [loud rock music]. Include them above dialogue and on a line alone.

  • Limit captions to two lines of text and break at natural, grammatical spots--i.e., don't split a proper name or break phrases up.

  • Spell lingo, slang, and accented words phonetically if they're important to the meaning of the content (e.g., “y’all” instead of “you all”).

How Do I See Captions?


  • Learn how to turn on captions and view them in different languages by watching this video.


Additional Resources