Audio & Video

Closed Captions and Transcripts

Our goal is to provide all users of our media with the best experience we can. With that in mind, we’ve established some best practices for audio and video use on Brandeis websites. 

Captions and transcripts benefit more than just people with disabilities!

When are Captions and/or Transcripts Required?

Audio Only

Audio only files (sound, but no video) should have transcripts available, either on the same page as the audio file or through a link to a clean, simple HTML page. Visit our how-to guides for information on creating transcripts.

For example, if you upload an audio file of a student reading a poem, you should also have the text of the poem available for those who cannot hear the file and would like to read it. You can have the actual words on the page, like this:            Example of a transcript for an audio file

Or you have the transcript on a separate page. Visit our how-to guides for help creating a separate transcript page.

Pre-Recorded Video

Pre-Recorded video files should have captions, preferably closed (includes a button to turn captions on and off) as well as a descriptive transcript, either on the same page as the video or through a link to a clean, simple HTML page. Visit our how-to guides for information on creating transcripts and writing captions.

  • New Video/Video you own: MTS can work with you to set up closed captions for your video.

  • Videos from external sources (YouTube, etc.): you should not embed or link to videos that do not contain captions. If you are the creator of a YouTube video, you may add captions yourself. If the video does not belong to you and is not accessible, you should avoid linking to it directly from the Brandeis website. 

Please note: some services, for example YouTube, offer autocaptions (the computer will write the captions for you). This is a good start, but they are neither dependable nor accurate much of the time. If you decide to use autocaptions, please review the captions the computer provided and edit them for accuracy and punctuation before releasing or linking to the video.

Live Streaming Video

Live streaming video should have captions, preferably closed, (includes options to turn captions on and off). It is generally understood that transcripts are unavailable for live video, but when possible (streaming a speech or a reading/performance of pre-written material), transcripts should be provided.

  • MTS can help you set up streaming and live captioning service for live events.