Creating Accessible Videos

People have varying degrees of ability to see and hear. Captions and transcripts make educational media accessible to those with a sight or hearing impairment. Others who benefit from captions and transcripts are people who speak English as a second language, those with learning disabilities, textual learners, people who have trouble concentrating, people in a work environment with background noise, as well as people using assistive technology.

In order to be fully accessible to the maximum number of users, web multimedia should include both synchronized captions AND a descriptive transcript.


Captioning is the process of converting the audio content of a television broadcast, webcast, film, video, CD-ROM, DVD, live event, or other productions into text and displaying the text on a screen or monitor. Captions not only display words as the textual equivalent of spoken dialogue or narration, but they also include speaker identification, sound effects, and music description. It is important that captions are:

  • Synchronized and appear at approximately the same time as the audio is delivered
  • Equivalent and equal in content to that of the audio, including speaker identification and sound effects
  • Accessible and readily available to those who need or want them


A transcript is a written or printed version of material originally presented in another medium. Podcasts, videos, and other audio files must include a transcript in order to be accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. If you don’t provide a transcript for your audio files, you are discriminating against some people, preventing them from getting the information.

How to Create Captions and Transcripts

You can hire an outside service to transcribe and caption your media, or you can do it yourself.

Do-It-Yourself Captions and Transcripts

  • AMARA – Upload a video and easily subtitle and edit the captioning (free).
  • Dragon NaturallySpeaking dictation software (not free).
  • YouTube Captions and Transcripts – Transcribe and caption a video through a step-by-step process. Edit and upload your video (free). A quick, one page guide on how to do this can be found at
  • VLC Media Player – Produce a transcription for your video using this open-source multi-media player with good editing controls (free).
  • Express Scribe Transcription – Produce transcripts using editing software. (A free version and a professional version are available.)

Outsourced Captions and Transcripts

The University of Missouri has entered into a contract with the following vendors to provide transcription and captioning services with special pricing:

Media Captioning and Transcripts

View Captions and Transcripts Pricing

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services provide the instant translation of the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer and realtime software. The text produced by the CART service can be displayed on an individual’s computer monitor, projected onto a screen, combined with a video presentation to appear as captions, or otherwise made available using other transmission and display systems.

View CART Pricing.