Captioning of Videos and Audio Files

Captioning of Videos and Audio Files Icon

If you intend to show or disseminate a video, it should be captioned (opened or closed) to ensure accessibility and in support of the universal design for learning approach. Please note that if your video will be shown on an open website it MUST be captioned, otherwise captioned upon request or if a Confidential Academic Accommodation Plan (CAAP) has been provided.

Captioning is beneficial not only to those with a hearing loss but also to those for whom an additional textual representation of the verbal and auditory information is an important learning support. If the video or audio file you would like to show or share is not captioned, the following are some options for making that media more accessible.

Please note that for materials not created by you, or that you do not hold the copyright for, you first need to obtain permission to create a captioned copy of the video or audio file. The Library can assist you in obtaining the permission and keeping the record of the permission.

Academic Captioning Process for Academic Accommodation Requests

View the Accessible Learning Services Closed Captioning Accommodation Guide (opens PDF, 117kb)

If closed captioning has been requested by a student with an identified disability and the accommodation is on their CAAP, please follow the Alternate Format Process (opens document, 113kb).

Academic Captioning Process for Non-Accommodation Requests

For non-accommodation academic captioning requests, please contact Greg Gagnon at greg.gagnon [at] mohawkcollege.ca for support.

To help with your budgeting, the following is the ballpark cost (in USD) for the service, obtained from a third party. Cost may change and differ slightly.

  • For immediate turnaround captioning only, where you already have the transcript: $ 1.15 / minute
  • For standard 3-day turnaround:
    • Transcription only: $ 1.50 / minute
    • Captioning and transcription: $ 2.65 / minute
    • Production transcripts, including time stamped: $ 2.08 / minute
  • For rush 24-hour turnaround:
    • Transcription only: $ 2.00 / minute
    • Captioning and transcription: $ 3.15 / minute
    • Production transcripts, including time stamped: $ 2.58 / minute

Corporate Captioning Process

For corporate captioning requests, please contact Greg Gagnon at greg.gagnon [at] mohawkcollege.ca for support in setting up a Corporate account.

Do It Yourself Captioning

Equal Access to Software and Information (EASI)

EASI is a non-profit organization that provides online training on accessible information technology for people with disabilities. A resource that can help colleges decide whether to outsource captioning for videos or do the work in-house is an EASI webinar, Captioning on a Mass Scale (opens new window), by Kevin Erler. (For videos you have permission to reproduce as a captioned copy)

How long does it take, approximately?

  • Transcription: approximately 4.5 x the duration of the video
  • Captioning: approximately 3.3 x the duration of the video

What tool to use?

YouTube Captioning
YouTube has an automatic captioning option - this, on its own does not produce acceptable captions. However, you can edit and correct those automatic captions, and create a transcript. Please keep in mind that you can only edit the caption text, but not the syncing of the captions (when they appear on screen.) Poorly synced captions can be very difficult to follow for viewers. If the captions resulting from this method are not well synced, it's recommended you use another method, or that you export the captions file and edit the time coding. Learn more about YouTube captioning features by searching for "captions" in YouTube's Help Center.

Subtitle Edit Software

An open source captioning software. Download and install the Subtitle Edit software (opens new window). Click the green 'Download Now' button to start the download.

Descriptive Video Captioning for the Blind

Descriptive Video (DV) allows people who are blind or visually-impaired to "hear" the pictures that appear on their television screen. By accessing the secondary audio program (SAP), DV consumers can listen to both the main program audio and a narrator describing key visuals, including scenery, body language and other action during pauses in the dialogue. This accommodation is provided upon request and can be provided following the same process as Closed Captioning.