Multimedia Accessibility




What Needs to be Captioned?

All videos required in online or hybrid courses need to be captioned, with a few exceptions.


  • Videos that will only be used for one semester
  • Videos that students are not required to watch and clearly marked as optional (not tied to assessment or otherwise essential to doing well in the course)

Instructor-Created Media

DECT Grant
All instructor-created videos can be captioned by using the DECT grant provided to Community Colleges of California.

Qualifying Projects:

  • Online classes 
  • Hybrid classes (some instructional hours offered at a distance)
  • On-campus classes utilizing distance methods of content delivery as they evolve (e.g., class capture, web conferencing, vodcasting, podcasting, content posted within a Learning Management System)
  • Digital learning object repositories used to collect and make available digitized content: this content could be used by on-campus, hybrid, online, and other delivery methods 

Visit the DECT Grant web site for more information about the grant

Use 3C Media Solutions to Order Captions through the DECT grant:

  • Follow these steps:
    • Log in to your 3C Media account (
    • From your "My Media" tab, click the "Details & Options" link to the right of the media you want captions for
    • Under "Tools", click on "DECT Captioning Grant"
    • Fill out and submit the form
    • Once created, (usually within 5 working days, depending on length), the caption files will be emailed back to you for uploading.
  • For better quality control, provide a list of vocabulary terms or phrases you use in your multimedia files that are specialized to your subject.
  • See more about 3CMedia Solutions, including how to sign up for an account

Third Party Media

(Media found on the web or other commercial media delivery systems - not created by the instructor.)

Instructors should consider the quality of captions or the absence of them when choosing videos. Instructors who choose many non-captioned or automatic-captioned videos will create time consuming issues.

Try these resources FIRST to find captioned media

Search the YouTube site for human-transcribed (not auto/machine-generated) captions

  1. Enter your search keyword in the YouTube Search field.
  2. Add a: , CC (a comma, CC)
  3. Press Enter or click the magnifying glass icon

Search Google for human transcribed (not auto/machine-generated) captions

  1. Go to: Google Advanced Video Search
  2. Fill out the Advanced Video Search fields that you need.
  3. Choose the "Subtitles: Closed captioned only" option.
  4. Press Enter or click the Advanced Video search button.

Make sure the YouTube video you use has captions that are NOT Auto-generated.

Auto-generated captions are not accessible enough and will need work to make them accessible.

How do I know?

  • Click the Settings button and check the Subtitles field, OR
  • Click on the CC icon, in the upper, left corner to turn on the captions. You will see text appear briefly that says "English (auto-generated)" or just "English" if it is human-created captions.


Options for third-party videos that need caption work

  • With permission from the video owner, third-party videos can be captioned with the DECT grant. If you use a video that needs caption work, contact the owner (use the comments are on YouTube) to ask for permission.
  • Media services can submit a video for captioning through Costs will be $1 per minute - you may need to provide Department funds.
  • Create captions or fix captions using the site. See instructions on captioning with
  • For a feature-length video, work with a library liaison to see if the video exists in the Media Services library, or determine the purchase cost.

Captioning on YouTube site

This is an option if the video you want to caption is in your YouTube account or one that you have access to.

Captioning on site

  • provides a solution to attach correct caption files to third-party videos that are on YouTube and Vimeo.
  • On the site an interface is provided for uploading captions to embedded videos.
  • Crowd sourcing - since the embedded videos with the uploaded captions are public, you may find videos already captioned on the site.
  • Amara provides a subtitle editor for creating or fixing captions.
  • See instructions on captioning with
  • If you have an Amara page with fixed captions, provide the link in your course marked as an accessible version of the video. You may still embed the YouTube or Vimeo video.