Creating Accessible Videos

icon of movie film with words transcripts and close caption

Videos are a great way to convey information to your students. To provide equal educational access for all, you need to make videos accessible. Like in Word, PowerPoint, and other instructional materials, many of the same practices apply to videos.

  • Do not use color to denote meaning.
  • Use large enough and clear enough fonts to be legible.
  • Color contrast should be at least 7:1.
  • In addition to those considerations, videos should have captions or a transcription.


Benefits of using captions

Captions allow a student who is deaf or low hearing to get the full effect of an instructional video and can also benefit other students in different situations, for example:

  • English Learners can see the words at the same time they are listening
  • In noisy environments, you can read the content
  • You can search terms in the caption text
  • Reading and listening at the same time increases the depth of learning and improves comprehension ( A Rising Tide' at Opens in new window )
  • When the audio is not clear, reading the subtitles clarify content
  • Students with a learning disability benefit from the closed captions 



How do I add captions to my videos?

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There are different ways to add Closed Captions (cc) to your videos, here are some ideas:

  • A quick way to get started on creating captions is to upload your video to YouTube. YouTube will add cc automatically, however, you will need to edit the captions for accuracy. Guides on using YouTube for captioning Opens in new window
  • Canvas Studio is another choice for automatic captions which you can then later edit for accuracy.
  • To add captions to videos that have copyright, please contact the  Academic Technology Center. Opens in new window


Note: If you are using a copyrighted video, you may need to pay an outside vendor to caption it for you. You cannot upload it to YouTube for captioning.