Audio and Video

A hand, surrounded by symbols for email, a microphone, twitter and other multimedia-related symbols.

By captioning videos, we not only provide access to individuals with hearing impairments, but we also improve viewing options for a wide variety of audiences. 

UB is increasingly using audio and video material as part of marketing, promotions, course content and campus information. Through captioning and audio descriptions, these materials can be made accessible to everyone.


Pre-Recorded Audio

Captioning is essential for making audio content accessible for individuals with hearing impairments. Captioning also has wider benefits, including for people who do not have speakers or who are in a location where they cannot play audio; English language learners, who may find comprehension easier when spoken language is paired with text; and individuals who are not familiar with technical terms in a video  There are two options for producing videos with captions:

  • Outsource. There are several services that provide captioning at a reasonable price. Outsourcing can save you time while promoting quality and accuracy.
  • Create captions yourself. Free online tools are available to allow you to create your own captions.

Live Captioning in Zoom

Zoom provides real-time, live captioning for classes, remote meetings and events.  To enable live captioning, select "More" from the menu and "Live Transcript."  From there, select "Enable Auto-Transcription."  The captions will then appear automatically.

It should be noted that Zoom's live captioning relies on voice recognition technology, which is imperfect.  There may be times when the content discussed during a remote class or meeting - for example, technical language that automatic captioning cannot pick up effectively - requires a third-party resource.

Live Captioning for In-Person Events

Live events, lectures and productions may be made accessible through live captioning. Live captioning is more challenging to produce and may be more expensive. Apps such as Live Caption rely on voice recognition technology to create simultaneous captioning, but they can be unreliable despite the fact that voice-recognition technology is improving.

Captioning Requests

Contact the Office of Accessibility Resources or the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion if you receive a request for live captioning for an event, performance or course.

Audio Description

Videos that convey content through images rather than audio can be made accessible to individuals with visual impairments through audio descriptions. The American Council of the Blind's Audio Description Project provides a list of vendors that can provide audio descriptions to videos. 


By creating a text version of a video presentation, content can be made accessible to everyone. The transcript should capture not only the spoken words, but also any visual information that is not presented in the text to ensure it is fully accessible. In addition to benefitting individuals with visual or hearing impairments, transcripts also allow access for users without the technical capacity to play the video, and allow people to quickly search through the text for specific content. If you have captioned your video, a transcript will be available as an optional format.