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.

Captioning

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.  

Captioning Course Videos and Materials

If students in your class require captions as a disability accommodation, have the student contact the Office of Accessibility Resources and UBIT can order human-generated captions for your course recordings in Panopto.

Panopto Captions

You can add captions to you Panopto videos in two ways:

  1. Any new folder you add to Panopto will automatically add ASR (Automated Speech Recognition) captions to any file you save or move there.
  2. You can manually add ASR captions to any recording in Panopto by editing it and choosing Import automatic captions.

Please note that automatic captions may be imperfect, and will require that you review and correct any inaccuracies.

Use your own third-party captioning account in Panopto

If your school, department, or unit has an account with a caption vendor, there is a good chance UBIT can integrate your account with Panopto. (Supported vendors include: Rev, Verbit.ai, CaptionSync, 3Play, Cielo24, Ai-Media.)  This can bring significant efficiency to your captioning workflow. You can designate folders for captioning and any recording placed in a given folder is sent to the vendor and captions are returned to Panopto automatically. It is also possible to designate people who are allowed to request captions with your account.

Zoom recording captions

When you record to the cloud in Zoom, the recording is automatically captioned with ASR.

Zoom transcripts are usually attached to Zoom meeting recordings in Panopto. If that doesn’t happen or if the Zoom transcript is overwritten by Panopto generated captions, you can easily download the transcript from Zoom and attach it to the meeting recording in Panopto. See instructions for adding Zoom transcript to Panopto recording.

Live Captioning in Zoom

During a Zoom meeting, the host can enable live auto-transcription and participants can choose to view the transcript or not. These live captions are saved along with the cloud recording. 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.

If you have a human captioner in the meeting, the host can assign that person as the captioner and participants can choose to view those captions or not. These live captions are also saved along with the cloud recording. Be aware that meeting attendees can save the transcript during the meeting.

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. 

Transcripts

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.