View the most up-to-date accessibility regulations and guidelines   at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office website, including additional information and support to learn more about promoting student access and success.

Captioning at Skyline College

All community college campuses are required by policy and law to ensure that their websites, instructional materials, and electronic and information technology products and services are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Many of these resources, e.g., multimedia and video, require captioning to be considered accessible. This page provides general guidance for addressing Skyline College’s captioning efforts and point faculty and staff toward resources that may be helpful.

Location and Contact

Chris Weidman
Instructional Aide II
Building 1, Room 1311H
Phone: 650-738-7113

Please check the CTTL Calendar for upcoming workshops

What is captioning?

Captioning is the process of converting the audio content of a television broadcast, webcast, film, CD-ROM, DVD, live event, or other productions into text and displaying the text on a screen, monitor, or other visual display system. 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. Captions should be:

  • 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.
  • Have sufficient size and contrast to ensure readability.
  • In the same line of sight as any corresponding visual information, such as a video, activity, or exhibition.

Captioning makes audio and audiovisual material accessible and provides a critical link to communication, information, education, news, and entertainment for the more than 36 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing. For individuals with limited English proficiency, captions improve comprehension and fluency. Captions can also improve literacy skills of children and adults alike.

Captions are commonly produced in advance for pre-recorded materials. Captions provided for live presentations are known as “real-time” captions. When captions are visible only when selected and activated, such as when they are visible on a television screen, they are called “closed captions.” Closed captions can be turned on and off. When captions cannot be selected and are permanently embedded in the audiovisual material, they are called “open captions.” Captions may also be presented selectively to individuals with specialized caption display equipment.


Building universally designed courses is a joint responsibility between faculty, trainers, distance education coordinators, accessibility specialists, alternate media staff and administrators who make the commitment through institutional support. One thing is certain: new exciting ways to present information electronically become available every day. It is our responsibility as educators to consider the ramifications for all students when making new technology purchases.

Required course materials must be provided in an accessible format. If third-party websites, services, or products, are used as required course materials and you cannot guarantee accessibility of the content, you must be prepared to provide accessible equivalent versions of the content for students with disabilities. It is your responsibility as faculty to conscientiously select course content and materials from external sources that are accessible.

The CTTL provides training for faculty to learn to caption and design accessible course content for all delivery modes. Additionally, the CTTL offers captioning assistance for faculty.

Regardless of how you caption your videos, you should proofread the captions you receive before making them publicly available. Accurately transcribed captions help the multimedia content on your site to make a good impression. Double-check any words that are unusual, such as names and technical terms in a particular field.

YouTube offers an automatic captioning feature, but its results are less than optimal. It is possible to edit the automatic captions, though it may be faster to instead generate your own captions using a transcript. For more information about this process, see DIY Captioning Job Aid.

CTTL provides in-house captioning service. Depending on the amount of required captioning material and priority, it may take up to 10 business days to at least four weeks for delivery of captioned materials.

Follow these easy guidelines for your Faculty Video Script Introduction  .

Free Captioning for Instructor-Created Videos: 3C Media Solutions

The DECT Captioning Grant offers funding for faculty, staff, and administrators of the California Community Colleges for captioning of educational media. 3C Media Solutions is in partnership with DECT and provides service through the 3C Media Solutions' website. Funding covers educational content with no length restrictions at this time. This service is available while funding exists and may expire without notice. 

In order to submit captions through 3C Media Solutions, you will need to be the owner of the media.

To request captioning services:

    1. Register/login online with 3C Media Solutions.
    2. Upload your media  .
    3. Request captioning services  .

Do It Yourself (DIY) Captioning

  • Review published guidelines and best practices before you begin. Please review the accessibility regulations and guidelines   for transforming videos that you did not create.
  • Online tools (see below) are available that allow you to add captions through a web interface. Registration is sometimes required. There are options available at no cost for both Windows and Mac.


As the volume of captioning needed is immense, CTTL will prioritize captioning projects as high priority or low priority. We encourage you to utilize the free captioning from 3C Media Solution or the DIY Option (see above).

High Priority:

  • An accommodation request from a student, staff member, or another person who requires captioning.
  • Multimedia that will be shared multiple times and/or over an extended period of time.
  • Multimedia that is reused in new courses and newly revised segments of existing courses.
  • Multimedia that is used in a course for more than one semester.
  • Multimedia that is on a public-facing webpage (e.g., commencements or other public-facing streamed or recorded events, news and marketing videos).
Low Priority:
  • A captured lecture presentation needed for only one semester, without a valid accommodation request.