If you have any questions not answered below, please contact us at captioning@colorado.edu.


Do I have to caption my media?

According to the CU Boulder Digital Accessibility Policies and Standards, if a student registered with Disability Services makes a captioning accommodation request, faculty must make arrangements for their course material to be captioned.

Additionally, any public-facing media relating to your department or representing the University needs to be captioned. Public-facing means that the media is available to non-University members and you don’t need to log in with an Identikey or similar authentication to access the content.

Captioning is required to meet accommodation requests and if media is publicly available. However, faculty and staff should also strive to select and create video materials that are accessible to all students regardless of whether those two situations apply. If you are obtaining media through the library, you should request a captioned version of the materials if possible. If you are creating your own videos, you should plan to create captions for them. Please contact captioning@colorado.edu to set up a training or consultation.

Will the university pay for my captioning needs?

Captioning for a student accommodation request is always covered by the university. Captioning for public-facing web content should be paid for by the department responsible for the web content.

Please contact us at captioning@colorado.edu if you have questions about how to pay for captioning.

What is real-time or live captioning?

Real-time captions, or live captions, are created during an event and displayed almost instantaneously. For assistance with scheduling real-time captioning for a course, students should contact the Disability Services Office. Faculty, staff, and campus visitors should contact the ADA Coordinator's Office

I'm worried that captions will be distracting. Can I recieve/display an uncaptioned video along with a captioned version?

The type of captions we provide are closed captions, which appear as an overlay on top of the video, rather than open captions, which are burned into the video itself. Closed captions can be toggled on and off in the video player, usually via a button in the lower right corner of the video player labeled "CC", so there shouldn't be a need for multiple versions since viewers can determine whether or not to display them.

If you have questions about displaying captions, particularly in situations where you may be showing a video to a group of people in person, please contact us at captioning@colorado.edu.


I am a student who needs to request a closed captioning accommodation. What do I do to get content in my courses captioned?

If you haven't already, please register with Disability Services as soon as possible to begin the accomodation process. 

Once registered, use the Accomodate Portal to send your accommodation letter to faculty members whose courses you wish to have content closed captioned in. Those faculty members will then be notified to fill out our captioning request form.

I am a faculty member who has received a captioning accommodation request. What do I do? How will this impact my course?

First and foremost, please submit the captioning request form so we can get started captioning your materials.

You will need to plan ahead to ensure that any audio or video course materials you use for the remainder of the semester are accessible to the student. The student does not need to request captioning for every individual piece of media that will be used. Once you receive a captioning accommodation request, all recorded video content should be captioned unless the student has indicated otherwise. This includes optional content, as well as student-created video content.

Please identify all media you will be using for the rest of the semester and the dates on which the students will first need to view each item. There is a 5-day period to arrange for captioning after you receive the accommodation request; after that, any audiovisual media used for your class must have captions available when it is first shown or made available to the students.

If the media you are using for your class does not have captions, you will need to request captioning from the captioning service at least one week before the media is needed, or you may need to make an alternate selection. This may limit your flexibility to make changes to the media you plan to use in class; you must ensure that any media you want to add at the last minute has accurate captions already available.

If you plan to show a YouTube video and it appears to have closed captioning enabled already, check whether the captions are auto-generated. Auto-generated captions are not accurate enough to use to meet an accommodation. If the video only has auto-generated captions, please send us the video for professional captioning.

If I am using video hosts like Zoom and YouTube that have automatic captioning, can I just advise students to turn on those closed captions?

Services like Zoom and YouTube provide automated captioning using automatic speech recognition technology. These auto-generated captions generally do not meet acceptable standards for accuracy (especially for technical or discipline-specific language) until they have been corrected manually.

If you have received an accommodation request for captioning from a student, you should review all YouTube videos for your class to determine whether they have accurate captions. If the captions are labeled "English (auto-generated)", then you should submit the videos to the captioning service to arrange for professional captioning.

DIY Captioning

I have not received any captioning accommodation requests for my course, but I would like to caption my media anyway. How should I proceed?

We value your commitment to making your media accessible to all of the students in your course.

Captioning is relatively straightforward to do on your own using free tools available from Canvas Studio, YouTube or Amara. Zoom also provides automated captions if you Record to Cloud; those captions can easily be corrected for accuracy. See the DIY Captioning Resources page for more information. 

The captioning service can also provide in-person trainings on how to caption your own materials. For further information, please contact captioning@colorado.edu​ to discuss how we can assist you with your captioning efforts.

Can you caption my video for me? How much does it cost?

The captioning service is happy to send content off for captioning on behalf of campus departments. Please submit your content through the captioning request form.

Captioning costs may run from $1.25/min to $5/min, depending on the turnaround time you require. Please contact captioning@colorado.edu for estimates for a specific project.

Zoom Cloud's captions are downloaded in the .vtt format. Kaltura only accepts captions in the .srt format. How do you convert from .vtt to .srt?

There are a few ways to consider doing this. First, there are online converter tools like this one from Subtitle Tools. However, these services have not been evaluated for data security, so they should not be used for confidential data. Secondly, you can also do this yourself by editing the file directly in a text editor. Lastly, you could use a captioning program like CADET that allows you to import WebVTT files and export them as SRT files. If you need assistance with this process, please contact captioning@colorado.edu

Is there a way to do post-production editing of a Zoom Cloud recording while keeping the captions accurate?

Yes, but you will need to use a video editing program that supports importing caption files and simultaneously editing them with the video file. Camtasia is one tool that is known to support this.

First, download the video & caption file from Zoom Cloud. Next, open the video file in your video editing program of choice. Then import the Zoom Cloud .vtt caption file. (Camtasia requires an .srt caption file; see the previous question for conversion tips). When you edit the video, some video programs will adjust the captions appropriately. You will need to look up tutorials specific to your video editing program to be sure, and this process may not work with all video editing software.

Please note that My Mediasite does not automatically adjust the timings of your captions if you trim out sections of the video. If you are trimming out parts of your video, you will need to adjust the caption timings manually.

Is there any software that I can use to generate a transcript of an audio recording or video?

Yes. Some free solutions include Google Voice Typing and Otter.ai.

Both of these tools process your computer’s audio input (such as the noise picked up by the computer’s internal microphone), and will not directly detect system audio (such as the noise produced by a YouTube video). If you wish to transcribe video or audio content that is playing on your computer, you will need to find a way to route your audio output as audio input.

On some Windows machines, there is a built-in feature that allows you to select the "Stereo Mix" audio input tool to accomplish this. On Macs, there is not an Apple-supported solution; please note that the tools to accomplish this have not been vetted for accessibility or IT security. One tool that may be used on Macs in an older free software called Soundflower. If you find an alternative workflow for this process that you’d like to share, please contact captioning@colorado.edu