All Time-Based Media (audio and video) produced by Sonoma State University faculty and staff, with the intent of being viewed as coursework, by the public, or for the campus community, must include Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG 2.1) AA compliant closed captioning.
*Any software or service listed below with an asterisk can be used freely by SSU faculty or staff. Software and services listed without an asterisk are not approved for general use, and require completing a Technology Purchase Review form (Seawolf ID required).
Use the following basic rules when determining appropriate captions for your time-based media. Full compliance requirements can be found in the WCAG 2.1 Time-Based Media Guidelines.
Synchronized captions must be provided for spoken audio
Important visual content must also be spoken aloud
Captions must be synchronized with the audio track
A text-based alternative must be provided with equivalent information
Synchronized captions must be provided for all live audio
Manually transcribing audio content is the most effective, if time consuming way to achieve accurate, WCAG 2.1-compliant captioning.
Many platforms and applications listed below provide automated captioning for time-based media. Depending on the software and quality of the audio, these can vary in accuracy. All automated captions must be manually reviewed for accuracy, grammar, and punctuation before being uploaded or shared.
Time-based media captions or transcripts can be requested from AutomaticSync* for professional WCAG 2.1-compliant captioning, at the expense of the requesting program or department. For more information please contact Stephanie Graham in Disability Services for Students.
Departments are also free to search for and pursue their own captioning services from alternative vendors for pre-recorded videos, or live event captioning.
For recorded lectures and required course media content, the Center for Teaching and Educational Technology (CTET) provides YuJa, a cloud-hosted video creation and management software, for captioning and managing video. For documentation, tutorials, training, and support, please visit the CTET YuJa Information webpage, or contact CTET.
For lecture materials needed to be used on multiple campuses, videos can be hosted and captioned on YouTube. For instructions, please visit YouTube Help: Adding Subtitles and Captions.
YouTube allows users to Auto-sync, type manually, or auto-translate captions. While automatically translated and synced captions can be a great starting point, manual edits are usually needed to ensure proper grammar and punctuation for WCAG 2.1 compliance.
Faculty should use their SSU Google Workplace account to create and manage a YouTube channel. Editing permissions can be shared with SSU employees. For instructions please visit Google Support: Add or Remove Access to Your YouTube Channel.
All web videos, shared to an SSU website, social media account, or email list must include WCAG 2.1 compliant captioning. For all web hosting platforms, it is recommended captioned videos are embedded from YouTube, Vimeo, or Google Drive, rather than hosted by the site itself.
For public-facing websites, videos can be hosted and captioned on YouTube. For instructions, please visit YouTube Help: Adding Subtitles and Captions.
Live streamed videos on YouTube can only be captioned if the file being streamed is pre-recorded, and has a caption file sent to YouTube ahead of time. For instructions please visit YouTube Help: Live Caption Requirements.
SSU departments should use their department Google Workplace account to create and manage a department YouTube channel. Editing permissions can be shared with SSU employees. For instructions please visit Google Support: Add or Remove Access to Your YouTube Channel.
Vimeo hosts pre-recorded videos and livestream events, though the platform does not have a built-in captioning system. Captions must be uploaded as a separate file when uploading or managing pre-recorded video(s). For instructions please visit Vimeo Help Center: Captions and Subtitles.
Vimeo’s live closed-caption software provides automated captioning for live events, which can be downloaded and edited after the event is complete. For instructions please visit Vimeo Blog: Live Close Captioning.
Videos uploaded to Google Drive can have captions added and edited from within the application. For instructions please visit Google Drive Help: Add Caption Tracks to Your Video Files.
Most social media platforms rely on automated captions, file uploads, or third party transcription services. It is recommended any pre-recorded videos shared to social media have captions added before they are uploaded. Please review the following resources before sharing video to any social media platform:
Email campaign platforms such as MailChimp or Constant Contact do not host videos themselves, but allow embedding of third-party video content. It is recommended users only embed captioned videos into any email campaign. For more information please visit:
Squarespace websites should embed captioned videos from a platform such as YouTube, Vimeo, or Google Drive. For instructions please visit SquareSpace Help Center: Adding Videos to Your Site.
Audio-only media must include text transcripts of all spoken content. This can be provided alongside embedded audio in a webpage or podcast episode, or as a downloadable text file.
Some dictation software, such as Google Doc*, iOS, or Android dictation will automatically transcribe spoken audio played on your device. The accuracy and quality of these transcriptions will depend on audio quality and the specific software; all will require manual editing to be made WCAG 2.1 compliant. For instructions, please visit the following resources:
Some applications will transcribe a pre-recorded audio file. Nuance, Happy Scribe, and Amberscript are some examples of automated transcription software that could be purchased for podcast or audio lecture transcription. Currently none are preferred or specifically recommended; all will require manual editing to be made WCAG 2.1 compliant.
Some podcast platforms provide automated transcriptions or tools to help you add transcripts to your podcast episodes. For instructions please visit the links below. Currently none are preferred or specifically recommended; all will require manual editing to be made WCAG 2.1 compliant.
For additional information on captioning and transcription guidelines, training, and resources, or to request specific services or platform resources be added to this page, please contact the Accessibility Services Analyst.