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To help build a culture of accessibility on campus and ensure legal compliance with accessibility requirements for students requiring accommodation, closed captioning is provided for content used for instructional purposes in UAlbany courses. The FAQ below provides additional information about this service and the relevant guidelines. Please review this information to help you in submitting a request.

Why is it important to make captioned media available to students?

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act require captioning of educational video to ensure effective communication with those who are deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Captions can also help when the speaker has an accent, the sound quality is poor, or when the terminology is highly technical.
  • Evidence suggests that reading comprehension is increased by the use of captions in the classroom, and they can improve student focus and note taking.

Should I investigate other options for accessible media?

  • To help stretch funding available for the captioning service we ask that you check other avenues for providing accessible media before requesting media captioning. Here are some options:
    • Search the University Libraries for the title you wish to use in your course and see if there is an online version available. If so, this means that the title is available through a streaming service, and those titles should include captioning options. You can add the streaming link in your Blackboard course.
    • If you are making your own recorded lectures, use the “Record to the Cloud” option in Zoom. This will automatically create editable captions and a transcript file. Keep in mind that Zoom cloud recordings are deleted after 180 days, so you will need to download and save your recordings for use in future courses.  

How can I ensure that my request complies with copyright law?

  • When you make a request, you are required to attest that your use of media complies with copyright law. There are several tools to help you make an appropriate determination.

How long will it take for me to have access to captioned media?

Turnaround time for most requests will be approximately 10 business days from the time of form submission, depending on the complexity of the video content, vendor processing considerations, and request volume. We ask that you make requests as far in advance as possible to ensure that you receive your media before it is needed and to help us manage costs.

How should I proceed if the media for which I am requesting captions has not been digitized?

  • If the media you would like to have captioned has not already been digitized and uploaded to your Ensemble account, complete a request for media digitization through the Institute for Teaching, Learning, and Academic Leadership (ITLAL).

What if I am using only part of a film? How can I make sure I am requesting captioning for the appropriate part?

  • You can use the Trim & Chop editor in Ensemble Video to make a separate video clip of an existing file. You can then submit the video captioning request for the new video clip.
  • When digitizing a video, contact ITLAL at for help with ensuring that you have the appropriate segment of your video digitized.

Need more help? Contact the ITS Service Desk.