Captioning & Transcription Procedure

Think Universal Design, when planning ahead to create your course materials. Be proactive!

- Purchase no videos unless captioned

- No video produced in-house unless it is captioned

Eligibility criteria for using Distance Education Captioning and Transcription (DECT) grant funding (revised 11/20/2105).

The following is a list of DECT qualifying projects (2015)

  • Online classes
  • Hybrid classes (some instructional hours offered at a distance)
  • 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)
  • Digital learning object repositories used to collect and make available digitized content: this content could be used by on-campus, hybrid, online, and other delivery methods

Funding is available for California Community Colleges offering distance education classes, for either live or asynchronous captioning and transcription.

Note: You may also have your videos captioned if you are using 3CMedia solutions. See captioning instructions.

Description of the types of videos that qualify for funding and other details:

  • If a video with captions is available for purchase, please consider purchasing the available version rather than requesting DECT funding.
  • If a captioned version of the video is held in your library or media collection, please consider licensing this video so that you can stream it in online classes.

As a reminder, the following types of video do not qualify for funding:

  • Newly purchased videos - since federal and state regulations require that colleges only purchase accessible instructional meaterials, DECT funding should not be needed for this purpose.
  • Legacy videos in a college collection - the CCCCO provided funding to caption existing collections of videos over a decade ago, so current DECT funds cannot be used for this purpose.
  • The DECT covers apportionment generating classes only--credit, non-credit, but not no-credit.
  • Pre-Approved Vendor page
  • New CART vendor

FAQ's about Captioning :

1. What is captioning?

Captions are synchronized with the video image so that viewers have equivalent access to the content that is originally presented in sound, regardless of whether they receive that content via audio or text. See A beginners guide to making video accessible .

2. When should I caption my videos?

If the course is being offered in a distance education, i.e., online, format it should be captioned. Waiting until a student requests the captioning causes a delay in receiving the information and becomes a "timeliness" issue.

3. Can I just use a transcript?

Transcripts can be helpful for any student but for a student who is hearing impaired, having the synchronization of what is actually occurring on the video and reading the captioning is timely and increases comprehension.

4. What is the difference between captions and subtitles?

There is an important distinction between captions and subtitles: subtitles provide a translation of dialogue only, while captions are always in the native language being spoken and provide a textual indication of all significant audio information, including sound effects and music. For accessibility concerns, subtitles are not equivalent to captions because subtitles do not convey all of the significant audio information of the video.

5. How far ahead should I submit my materials to be captioned?

At least 3-4 weeks before the date you need them captioned.

6. Can I use YouTube to caption my video?

Yes, however the wording may be off and you will have to go back and edit your content for errors in YouTube itself. Watch how to search for captioned videos on YouTube.

6. I have old VHS tapes I use in the classroom, can I get these captioned?

Yes, however this may be the time to to upgrade your course materials to DVD's which include captioning. Less costly in the long run and more accessible.

7. What do I do if I cannot find a closed captioned copy of the video/audio I will use in class and I cannot have the school caption/transcribe the media in time to use for my course where a student who is deaf or hard of hearing is enrolled?

You will need to work with Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) office to have an accommodation provided to the student in order for them to access the media content for the course. Make your syllabus available, to show when the videos will be shown in class. Please contact Jana Garnett, DSPS Director, ext. 2364

Steps to REQUEST captioning & transcription for online courses

1. Secure permissions form from the copyright holder to have videos captioned if they were not created by you. If you still have questions please contact the FRC co-director, David Wong x 2862, or e-mail at wong [at] sbcc [dot]edu Note: SBCC Copyright policy and procedures

2. Download, fill-in and e-mail this vendor quote form, to Laurie Vasquez. Be sure to check the delivery mode options on the form to determine media type. Mail to: vasquez [at] sbcc [dot] edu

3. The form is sent to the vendor to quote the work to be done, and then for approval by DECT (takes about 2 weeks). The quote is returned for review, before vendor begins work. The entire process may take two weeks, so plan ahead before you actually need the material in your class.

4. The invoice is then billed to the State captioning grant.

Examples of what is possible:

  • Algebra - 37 minutes - Quicktime
  • Through the Looking Glass - 90 minutes - DVD
  • Geometry - 36 minutes - DVD (12 chapters)
  • Human development series - 450 minutes - 10 DVD's, 45 minutes
  • Interview w/Bono - 20 minutes - Audio: transcription only
  • History of Austria - 12 minutes - Narrated powerpoint
  • Romeo and Juliet - 55 minutes - VHS (please convert to DVD)
  • Philosophy (15 lectures) - 30 minutes - Audio: Transcription only

Steps to SUBMIT "electronic" media to be captioned

Select the following link to access the FRC Xythos space

  1. Faculty members can upload a folder with their surname.
  2. Upload your class syllabus (to track when videos will be shown).
  3. E-mail vasquez [at] sbcc [dot] edu to say you've put a folder of files to be captioned on Xythos.
  4. Laurie will notify FRC staff that your files are ready to upload to the vendor's website, as well as contact them to let them know there are files to be captioned.
  5. Once done, FRC staff will e-mail the teacher and tell them they can retrieve their folder of captioned files in the completed-captioned -videos folder located at

After course materials have been converted, you are then ready to place the media in your course and deliver accessible instruction.

It is also possible for media (VHS tapes, DVD's or CD's to be captioned).

They would need to be shipped to Aegis Rapidtext

111 North First Street

Burbank, CA. 91502

Phone: (800) 234-0304 ext. 47124



For reporting purposes, a class is considered distance education when "instruction is provided through distance education for at least 51 percent of the hours of instruction."

Chancellor's Office 2011 Distance Education Accessibility Guidelines

In this version, two new key areas were added to this document: a conceptual framework, and an FAQ section that addresses real world, current issues that many of you are now facing.

Also updated is the Glossary and the new Resources list which is comprehensive. The other existing sections of the 1999 guidelines remain in this version and were thoroughly reviewed and updated.

  • CCCCO, Captioning of audiovisual materials (Legal Opinion M 02-22 ) (August 2002)
  • AB 386 - Instructional Materials for Disabled Students: Reducing Access Barriers for Students Who Are Deaf (10/11/09)
  • SB 105 - Applied standards of Section 508 to California (effective Jan. 1, 2003)
    • Basic law: Cal. Gov. Code ยง11135(d)(2)* "In order to improve accessibility of existing technology, and therefore increase the successful employment of individuals with disabilities, particularly blind and visually impaired and deaf and hard-of-hearing persons, state governmental entities, in developing, procuring, maintaining, or using electronic or information technology, either indirectly or through the use of state funds by other entities, shall comply with the accessibility requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. Sec. 794d), and regulations implementing that act as set forth in Part 1194 of Title 36 of
    • the Federal Code of Regulations."Section 508 on Videos* (c) All training and informational video and multimedia productions which support the agency's mission, regardless of format, that contain speech or other audio information necessary for the comprehension of the content, shall be open or closed captioned.