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Captions & Audio Descriptions


Accessibility for video and audio presentations can be supported by including captions and audio descriptions for video and providing a text transcript for audio. Captions serve as a synchronized textual representation of audio elements like videos, films, television broadcasts, and live events. Further, captions provide the same information in a text format provided through the audio presentation, including speaker identification and sound effects.

Captions that are auto generated should always be edited to ensure they are meaningful and accurate transcription, synchronized with the audio track, and readily available.

Captioning Resources

The CCC Accessibility Center, in collaboration with CVC @ ONE, provides self-paced accessibility courses that enable you to learn at your convenience and progress through the material at your own pace. These courses include topics such as best practices for video captioning and using the captioning tool Shire. 


Transcripts allow individuals who cannot access the video or audio content to engage with the material. Video content often provides transcripts as an alternative, while audio-only content requires transcripts. Unlike captions, transcripts do not require synchronization with the audio and remain distinct from the audio track.

Transcripts, whether for video or audio, provide access to those with hearing impairments, non-native speakers, or anyone who prefers written content. These transcripts should incorporate not only the spoken words but also speaker identifications and other significant visual and audio cues.

Transcript Resources

Distance Education Captioning and Transcription Program

The Distance Education Captioning and Transcription (DECT) Grant provides California Community Colleges with funding for live and synchronous captioning and transcription to enhance all students' access to distance education courses. Further, the DECT promotes and supports awareness of available funding to support faculty efforts to develop high-quality, media-rich distance learning courses.

What Qualifies for DECT Funding:

  • Distance Education (Online, Hybrid, Synchronous, Asynchronous)
  • Credit and Non-Credit classes
  • On-campus Classes utilizing distance methods of content delivery as they evolve (e.g., class capture, web conferencing, vodcasting, podcasting, content posted within a Learning Management System)

Live Captioning 

Live captioning is critical to ensuring all individuals can fully participate in live events. Live captions use real-time text translation delivered by live human captioners, ensuring that all individuals, including those with hearing impairments or language barriers, can actively engage in live events. Live captioners contribute by providing accurate, real-time captions, distinguishing their work from automated captions, which are often less accurate and contain transcription errors, especially with background noise, multiple speakers, specialized vocabulary, or accents.

Live Captioning Resources

Audio Descriptions

Audio descriptions are required when the multimedia contains crucial visual information that is integral to comprehending the content. Audio descriptions provide essential information that might not be conveyed through a standard audio track to blind and visually impaired users. These descriptions include identifying speakers, clarifying on-screen instructions, directional cues, and other significant visual elements. 

It is considered a best practice to incorporate audio descriptions in the planning stages of multimedia production. This method ensures that key visual elements are effectively narrated, eliminating the need to develop resource-intensive alternative versions for audio descriptions. This proactive approach ensures that all individuals, regardless of visual abilities, can fully engage with the multimedia content. 

Audio Description Resources