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Making Courses Accessible With Transcripts and Captioning


Are you teaching or supporting a course that requires transcripts or captions? Instructors and instructional designers need to begin by communicating about this requirement. After the professor is aware that a student with special needs is enrolled in their course and advises the instructional designer, the latter's next step should be to look through all video and audio links within the course.

A lot of the videos found throughout a course can be located within an instructor’s MyMedia page in Kaltura. Audio and video files loaded directly in the course and links to outside websites may also be scattered within a course. Depending on the document, lecture notes and/or writing assignment, instructions may also need to be submitted.

Once every file is accounted for, all should be listed on the shared Online Captioning Spreadsheet with the titles of the lecture videos, the lengths, a due date for when the files need to returned, any reasons for expedited transcriptions, the specific accommodation needed, and the location of the media (such as a URL or online professor's profile account).

The instructional designer should be sure to get the above information turned in as soon as possible, as transcriptions requiring quick a turnaround will end up costing more during the transcription process. For a course that is being created “just in time," the instructional designer should encourage the instructor to work at least a few weeks ahead of the live material on the course.

SHSU Online Creative Services submits the files for accommodation and will be in constant contact with the third party company that provides this service until the files are returned. At the same time, the instructional designer and Creative Services should stay in regular communication, so they can be aware of each other’s needs and respect each other’s workload.

Once the transcription is finished, Creative Services adds any text to internal Kaltura videos, and the instructional designer is responsible for uploading any accommodations to the course. It’s best for the professor and instructional designer to confer about how they’d prefer these files displayed, because often instructors don’t want transcripts to be available to the whole course. In that case, the instructional designer should create an Adaptive Release folder accessible to the student (or students).