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Accessible Media

Students who have accessible media as an accommodation might require captioned or audio described videos or transcripts for audio files. SAS works with each student to determine their specific needs and coordinates with faculty to ensure that accessible media is available in a timely manner. Students with questions about accessible media can contact SAS at sas@ithaca.edu.  

Closed Captions (CC): CC provides a visual representation of all audio, including words and other sounds (i.e., “dog barking” or “loud explosion”). Captions are designed for viewers who cannot hear the audio. The “closed” part of “closed captions” means that the captions can be turned on or off. Open captions, on the other hand, are integrated into the video itself and cannot be turned off. Captions should be: 

  • Accurate (~99%) 

  • Synchronized to the audio 

  • Readable 

  • Positioned on screen so they do not block important information 

Subtitles: The purpose of subtitles is to translate spoken audio into a language understood by the viewer. Subtitles are designed for viewers who can hear but who do not understand the language used in the video. 

Audio Description (AD): Also called “described video,” AD is an audio track that narrates the relevant visual information that’s contained within a video. AD is an accommodation for blind and low-vision viewers. Standard AD inserts narration into a video without altering the length of the video. Extended AD pauses the video where necessary to include additional information or description. SAS typically delivers videos with standard AD. 

Transcript: Transcripts are text representations of audio presented as a separate document or file. 

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR): Technology that converts spoken words into text. ASR can be used to create automatically generated captions. ASR cannot yet create captions that meet accessibility standards on its own, though ASR is often used as a first step when creating accessible media. 

Human-generated captions: Captions created and/or reviewed by a person. At this time, only human-generated captions meet accessibility standards. SAS delivers video with human-generated captions. 

As with all accommodations, students can decide from semester to semester (and class to class) whether they require accessible media.  

Students are contacted before the start of the semester to determine whether they require accessible media for the semester. SAS contacts students via their Ithaca College email account. 

SAS works with faculty to determine whether they plan to show videos in class and will obtain access to any videos that require CC or AD (or audio files that require transcripts). SAS may contact students again about the specific needs for particular courses. 

SAS creates an accessible version of the videos and makes them available prior to the date the video is required. SAS will alert both faculty and students when the video is available. 

If SAS is unable to obtain and fully process a video before it is shown in class, students have two options: 

  1. They can choose to not have the video captioned. This might be appropriate if the video is short or is not a crucial part of the curriculum. 

  1. They can request that SAS caption the video. To request captioning for a specific video, students must complete the Accessible Media Request Form

Students are expected to respond promptly when contacted by SAS about accessible media accommodations. This helps move the process along so media can be converted in a timely manner. 

Students must contact SAS when they drop a class or no longer require accessible media for any other reason. 

Students must contact SAS if there any problems or delays in receiving accessible media. SAS will not know if there are issues without student notification. 

Several IC supported tools have the capacity to generate automatic captions. While auto-captions do not meet the needs of all students, there may be times where it provides some benefit and can be used in situations where alternative accommodations are not available. 

Zoom 

Zoom meetings and webinars that are recorded outside of the Sakai environment will be auto-captioned once the recording is complete. Auto-captions can be edited within Zoom by the meeting host.  

Kaltura (media.ithaca.edu) 

Kaltura is the Ithaca College media service and is accessed through media.ithaca.edu. Videos uploaded to Kaltura will be auto-captioned within 48 hours of upload. Auto-captions in Kaltura can be edited by anyone who has permission to alter the video. More than one caption file can be uploaded to Kaltura. Captions are accessed by clicking the “CC” button on the video player. Kaltura’s auto-captions are labeled “English.” Captions created by SAS are labeled “SAS Captions”.  

Microsoft Stream 

Videos uploaded to Microsoft Stream are auto-captioned using the Microsoft Azure ASR engine. Auto-captions are displayed as an interactive transcript next to the video. Auto captions in Microsoft Stream can be edited or replaced with an alternate caption file. 

VoiceThread 

Videos created in or uploaded to VoiceThread are automatically captioned. Captions will be available within 5-10 minutes. Auto captions within VoiceThread can be edited or replaced with an alternate caption file.