Video Accessibility Resources

Video accessibility is important in all videos we do here at RIT.  Beyond supporting hour deaf and hard-of-hearing current students and future students, there are other reasons such as: 

  • It ensures compliance with the law – Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • It helps avoid lawsuits and negative PR for RIT.
  • It ensures accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.
  • It assists those for whom English may be a second language.
  • Many viewers, regardless of hearing status, don’t watch content with the sound on, and uncaptioned videos often are skipped, especially on mobile.
  • Captioned videos boost SEO stats because search engines scan caption/transcript text when locating and returning searched content to a user
For recorded videos

The Division of Marketing and Communication’s Production Services has a captioning department. If you would like Production Services to caption your videos or provide you with the appropriate files, please click here.

To self-produce caption the easiest to upload you video to YouTube and allow the software to auto-caption the video and then correct any errors that appear, such as mistiming, grammar and incorrect words, misspellings, etc.

  • YouTube tends to do a passable job auto-captioning and makes it easy to edit the captions for accuracy.  They also allow the final, accurate caption file to be downloaded as an .srt and plain text file. An .srt file can then be uploaded to many social media sites where the video happens to live. 
  • A nice hack for YouTube if you want all your captions to be on automatically is adding this to tags: YT:cc=on.
  • Instagram is slowly rolling out their live auto-caption feature to some users but it’s not out of beta yet. In the meantime, there are options to accurately caption Instagram video.  On desktop, you can use software like KapWing to upload an .srt file to caption videos. On mobile, use Threads to transcribe and edit your open captions

For live-streamed content

The Division of Marketing and Communication’s Production Services supports live captioning for events. If you would like Production Services to live caption your event, please click here.

There are three basic additional approaches to generating captioning.  All require a little set up before the video starts rolling, but are straight-forward and repeatable once implemented.

  • Do it in-house—an employee can caption the video live using software like Advantage Software, Audioscribe or ProCat.
  • You can contract with a third-party company that provides captioning services (e.g., Verbit, National Captioning Institute, 3Play Media).
  • You use a captioning service that implements AI voice recognition to generate captions automatically. 

Audio Description uses voiced narration to describe all of the important aspects of what’s happening in a video. Many companies that provide professional captioning will also provide audio description services for video. It’s possible to produce audio description tracks in-house. A good place to get more information is World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)—they have developed clear guidelines to follow for accessibility for all. 

Please contact brand@rit.edu if you require more information on captioning.