4. Video/Audio Description

Videos cannot be shown without captions and audio descriptions in classes where a student with a registered disability is enrolled. Videos must be checked for captioning/audio-description or an appropriate accessible copy purchased prior to the start of the course. Captioning must be proofed because auto-captioning usually is not sufficient for deaf/hearing impaired students. Further, students who are deaf or hard of hearing must have text descriptions of all video content, not only the dialogue; students who are blind or visually impaired must have audio descriptions of all video content. Even for those students who may not require captioning as an accommodation for a disability, adding captioning and descriptions can assist students (e.g., second language students) in receiving the full learning benefit of video content. Studies have shown that students have greater retention of the material for videos that are captioned. This category includes YouTube, MediaSpace, DVD, VHS, Lecture Captures, Ensemble, Facebook, and PowerPoint – videos you produce yourself as well as those you acquire.


  • Is your video captioned?
  • Do you know how to turn on captioning if you are playing a captioned video in class?
  • Have you tested it using the close captioned feature (cc) on a media player?
  • Do you have a transcript of the video?
  • For a student with a visual impairment, is the video audio described?
  • Have you checked the library to see if a captioned copy is available? If not, staff will often purchase one for the collection that is captioned/audio described.