Rochester Institute of Technology is committed to web accessibility for all, both in person and online.

It is vital that instructors select and/or provide accessible media for their courses. These materials should be developed at the time a course is designed, since it may not be known if students who require accommodations will be enrolled in the course until the add/drop period has passed. A week is the typical length of time needed to provide professional captioning. However, two weeks of lead time is appreciated when possible.

Captioning Guidelines

RIT has established the following guidelines for captioning media to ensure that RIT creates an educational environment that is accessible to all learners:

  • All media used in face-to-face, blended, and online courses will be transcribed and captioned. This includes videos with audio or sign language only content.
  • Uncaptioned audio-visual materials may not be provided as course content.
  • Media produced, streamed, or otherwise provided as part of a student(s) presentation, for campus and online courses, will be transcribed and captioned if a graded assignment or test, based on the student (s) presentation, is a part of the course requirements.
  • Captioned versions of media will be made available for students to review if the material is to be included in exams well in advance of the exam. Instructors may provide a link to the captioned media in myCourses or put it on reserve in the library.
  • Conference calls, teleconferences, and audio recordings that are part of a course need to be made accessible with captioning. Students can request real-time captioning through Access Services.
  • Captions provided by YouTube are not always reliable. Therefore, instructors should review captioning for YouTube content before showing it in class. If the YouTube captioning is not accurate, it should be captioned by the CTL Media Services team by submitting a request using the Course Media Captioning Request Form.
  • Captioned versions of media must be purchased when available.
  • All newly purchased uncaptioned media will be captioned on a priority basis by the CTL Media Services team.
  • All media equipment and computers used in classrooms must be capable of displaying captions. Labels with clear instructions for using closed captions will be on all equipment.

Resources are available to all instructors to help them meet the captioning guidelines outlined above. If you need to secure permission from the copyright holder, the process will take longer.

Panopto, RIT’s course video hosting service, allows you to request professional captions for your content directly without the delay associated with a media request. More information is available on requesting captions for content in Panopto. If you need other course media captioned that is not in Panopto, such as a video from the internet, please complete the Course Media Captioning Request form.

NOTE: To request captioning for pre-recorded non-course related content, please contact RIT Marketing and Communication. To request live captioning for in-person or Zoom meetings, make a request to the Department of Access Services (DAS).

For Instructors

Captioning Media You Created

Media used in credit-bearing courses may be submitted by instructors for professional captioning free of charge.

Captioning Media You Did Not Create

RIT has created an official stance regarding Copyright, Fair Use, the TEACH Act and other accessibility laws and considerations. Please review the RIT Copyright Policy that addresses the use of all media at RIT.

If you are interested in captioning a film, consult with your Librarian to have the media licensed for streaming.

For other media types, first verify that your media adheres to the guidance of the RIT Copyright Policy. If yes, then CTL Media Services can request professional captioning for English language media from a variety of formats and host it on our streaming server (Panopto) for use in myCourses. To initiate a captioning / transcription request please submit a Course Media Captioning Request Form. Once captioned, you will be notified by email with additional instructions for inserting the media in your course. Media Services does not have the legal expertise to advise faculty on the RIT Copyright Policy. If you have questions about the policy, we would recommend contacting the RIT Office of Legal Affairs.

For Students

Captioning Media You Created

Due to the quicker turnaround time needed for student work, it is generally most appropriate for students to create their own captions from scratch or edit automatically-generated captions.