Accessible Media

Accessible Media allows students to read a text description of what is said in audiovisual materials (videos, podcasts, etc.). If you plan to show or assign any audiovisual materials as part of your class curriculum for the term, you are responsible for ensuring that those materials are accessible. This means that they must either be captioned or transcribed before the intended show/assigned-on date.

The good news is, the DRC Access Services Coordinator will work with you to know what is not yet accessible, and to create captions for any needed media! You may have a student in your course who will be using captioned media alongside in-class service providers (ASL Interpreting or Real Time Captioning), or you may have a student that only needs media captioning at this time. Find this information in the accommodation email you received from the DRC, or contact the Access Services Coordinator.

We have created a handy Accessible Media Request Form that you can fill out if you need help making media accessible for a student who has accommodations.

Checking for Captions

Your planned media may already have captions, which you can check when viewing the video. Machine-generated captions alone will not be sufficient, as they do not yet meet accuracy requirements. If you see any captions labeled “Auto-captions” on common media sites like Youtube, these will need to have new captions created. If you are using any podcasts, check if there is a written transcript available instead of captions.

  • You can also choose to show and share media that is already captioned and accessible! Visit our Identifying Accessible Media webpage for tips on finding accessible media that already has captions. PSU’s Office of Academic Innovation also has incredible resources and support for faculty learning about accessible media, and many other aspects of designing equitable classrooms.
  • In remote courses with live-streamed meeting times, instructors may choose to record and make the videos available to students over D2L. If you are doing so, please let the DRC know so we can set up a plan to receive and caption these videos each week after they are created.

Requesting Captions from the DRC

To request captions for audiovisual media that you have prepared, fill out our Accessible Media Transcript and Caption Request form or email the DRC Access Services Coordinator directly at the end of this page. Include your video link/file, and the date or week for which it will be listed. We will prioritize processing media in the order it is needed.

  • Do not post or show the video before the captions are completed, or the student will not have an equitable learning experience and the accommodation will not be met.
  • Please note that the DRC’s standard turnaround time for these requests is 5 business days. The DRC will work with you to prioritize media that is sent with less notice, but cannot guarantee that a request will be complete in less time.
  • If it will be necessary for you to create or determine new media throughout the term and you have concerns about this time table, please get in touch with the Access Services Coordinator at the end of this page to discuss options in more detail.

Creating your Own Captions

While machine generated captions do not meet accuracy needs alone, there are new resources for instructors to edit machine generated captions easily and quickly! Both Youtube and PSU MediaSpace have options to edit the captions within the program and immediately attach them to your videos. If you are creating your own lecture videos and would like to have options to meet this requirement yourself, check out the resources below. 

You can get more support for captioning by visiting the Office of Academic Innovation.

Examples of Sites That May Have Captioned Media

Films On Demand

To search for captioned programs using university access to Films On Demand, navigate to the "Advanced Search" menu. Under "Advanced Filters, select "Show Only CC programs." You can also use "Advanced Filters" to search for programs that include interactive transcripts. Simply select "Show only programs that have interactive transcripts."

TED Talks

Check for subtitles in the control bar below the video. There will usually be an option for English. Select this. If the TED Talk is not captioned, there may be a transcript.

Not all sites using the TED name are directly affiliated with TED Talks, and may not have captioning available. Check to make sure you are using TED Talks directly from Media through TEDx will likely not have quality captioning. 


You can search for captioned versions of video content on YouTube by adding a comma and the letters "CC" to your search. For example, you would type “salmon migration, CC”. Note that using this type of search will automatically bring up the filters option below the search box. All videos displayed in the search results will have the “CC” (closed-captioned) symbol.

Note: The appearance of the “CC” symbol doesn’t always mean that the captions are usable. Always watch a few minutes of the video with captions on to make sure that the captions make sense. If they do not, you will need to find an alternate version with accurate captions.

Other Useful Information

For VHS materials, you can use the television remote to turn captions ON or OFF. Try pressing the "Menu" button to see if there is an option available for Closed Captions. 

If you are showing a video through a media projector in class, you will see a “Closed Captioning” button on the podium console. You can contact OIT at (503) 725-4357 or (503) 725-HELP if you need assistance.

If you have any concerns about the accessibility of your lecture or other audible course aspects, please contact the Access Services Coordinator.

Access Services Coordinator
For Interpreting and Captioning
Phone: 503-725-6504

Check our home page for hours and Virtual Front Desk information.