• Captioning for All

    Posted by Tai Botkin on 9/18/2020 7:00:00 AM

    I, like the rest of the world, spent much of the spring in the comfort of my home.  When the time came for a real-life-restaurant-visit, some friends and I donned our masks and planned for a night out. I had my husband put our name in with the hostess, knowing that with background noise, muffled speech quality and decreased visual access due to masks, I was at a serious disadvantage.  What I had not planned for was just how difficult it would be for me to converse with my friends.  I am accustomed to hearing these people speak, I know their body language, I am familiar with the cadence and rhythm within the conversations of this group.  I tried to fill in the gaps of language I was missing, but it was just too difficult.  Would you be surprised if I told you that my hearing is described as “within normal limits”?  This is why implementation of captioning is such an important piece to the Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

    “In a study conducted in 2015  by the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) Distance Learning Accessibility Committee, results indicated that 99% of all students reported that they found closed captions to be helpful when taking online classes. Only 7% of those students surveyed were deaf or hard of hearing.  The breakdown of the 99% indicated that  5% of those students responded that captions were slightly helpful, 10% felt captions were moderately helpful, 35% said captions were very helpful, and 49% found captions to be extremely helpful.” (Kmetz Morris & Brodosi, 2015). 

    Here are some ways you can make this happen!

    Creating the video:

    Video Conferencing:

    After the video:

    Kapwing: Get 10 minutes of automated captioned video for free that you can correct or edit for accuracy.

    Google Slides: One of the easiest and most valuable tools in my collection.  Share your screen in a google slides presentation and simply hit the closed captioning icon.  You can also use this in the physical classroom!  Get more info here!

    Web Captioner: this one is fairly new to me, but a total game changer for students trying to access captions where there aren’t any.  This tutorial is really great at explaining how students can access captions and display them on their screen for all content. 

    Youtube: The National Center on Disability and Access to Education shows you how here!

    Google Meet: The captioning offered within Google Meets is really great and super easy to enable.  Check that out here.  I also really like the ability to pin a presenter so that they remain on your screen throughout the conference. 

    Live Caption: Available as an ios app and on google play.  Students can download it to their personal devices and set it next to their school issued devices for captioning.  Use it in the physical classroom too!

    Clips: (ios only) Clips became one of my favorite tools to use this past spring.  It was easy to send directly to my google drive from my phone! Click here for a great, quick video to teach you how to add captions to a clips video.  


    Live Transcribe: This option works much like Live Caption, but only for android devices.  Learn how here. 

    Flip Grid: Find how to exchange video clips with automatic and editable captions here


    Kmetz Morris, Karla and Brodosi, David. (2015, November 5). Closed Captioning Matters: Enhancing Accessibility and Improving Learner Experience in Online Learning. Retrieved from Quality Matters.


    Tai Botkin, Teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

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