Captions & Subtitles for the Classroom
“Both ADA and Section 504 are civil rights statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability, obligate colleges and universities to make certain adjustments and accommodations, and offer to persons with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all institutional programs and activities. Texas Tech University adheres to these regulations and the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act.”
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (TTU OP 10.08)
Captions: Improving Access to Postsecondary Education
"Professors, students, and IT administrators share the benefits of using captions for videos used in postsecondary education. Beyond what captions provide for students, staff, and faculty who are deaf or hard of hearing, captions benefit students for whom English is not their primary language and supports video search and interactive transcripts. Captions are also a useful tool for people watching video in noisy environments, or quiet ones" (DO-IT Center).
Captioning is a visual representation of the audio portion of videotape material that enables deaf learners to have full access to materials used in the classroom.
- Open Captions - Open captions are always visible and cannot be turned off. They are burned directly into the video and are a part of the picture.
- Closed Captions - Closed captions are captions that are encoded, or embedded, into the video and cannot be seen unless turned on using menu options
- Subtitles - Subtitling is a method of making the soundtrack of a video recognizable to viewers who do not understand the language being spoken or viewers unable to hear the audio. Subtitles may appear as translations to foreign languages from the spoken language or straight transcripts of the spoken language.
- Transcription - Transcripts are also produced by highly trained personnel who listen to the program audio, transcribe every word spoken, every sound effect, regional-accent descriptors, and even onscreen action and time stamps – depending on the level of detail the client requires. The script can be formatted in a variety of different ways.
According to federal, state, and university guidelines all materials presented in the classroom must be in an accessible format. For Deaf and hard of hearing students to have equal access, all class-related materials (specifically, PowerPoint voice-overs, online courses, audio recordings) must be closed captioned, subtitled or transcribed. Videos, movies, and internet clips must be captioned or subtitled as a transcription is not sufficient. This applies to both on-campus and online courses.
If you have materials that are not compliant with this ADA mandate, please seek support from your immediate supervisor, the Dean of the College, and/or the TTU Accessibility Compliance Team. Student Disability Services' goal is to assist by providing you with information that will help you be more effective in your classroom, as well as helping you maintain compliance with federal, state, and university disability guidelines.
For additional information, please contact Student Disability Services or email Dr. Jackie Lynn Luft, Accessibility Specialist for Worldwide eLearning. Dr. Luft can also be reached via telephone at 806.834.1622
- Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) | Free loans of described & captioned educational media and a clearinghouse of information related to educational media access.
- National Captioning Institute, Inc. (NCI)
- FCC Fact Sheet: Requirements for Closed Captioning
- National Court Reporters Association
- TTU Accessibility Compliance Team
Captioning Assistance through TTU Worldwide eLearning
If you require assistance with getting materials for your course captioned or transcribed, please refer to the TTU Worldwide eLearning website and fill out their captioning assistance form online.
Companies Offering Captioning Services
- Alternative Communication Services (ACS)
- Caption Colorado
- Caption Max
- Caption Sync by Automated Sync Technologies (AST)
- Media Access Group
- National Captioning Institute
Want to learn more about Remote Communication Access Realtime Translation (RCART) services? Check out our page on Realtime Captioning.