Catherine Artac and Jane Melander from the Office of Online & Extended Learning (and members of the campus UDL/Digital Accessibility Committee) presented “DIY Captioning” at the Accessing Higher Ground Conference on Nov. 16, 2016, in Westminster, Colo. 

Session topics included:

  • How providing accurate and readable captioning is a legal requirement for content providers.
  • Users have a civil right to equal use and accurate information regardless of their ability or disability.
  • How YouTube’s auto-captioning feature and other speech-to-text options is not “good enough” to be in full compliance.
  • The options for creating captions (manual, speech-to-text, and outsource).
  • Demos on using Camtasia and YouTube for creating and/or editing captions.

A highlight of the conference was a session titled “What to Expect when the Government Comes Knocking on Your Virtual Door.” The presentation focused on what happens in a compliance review or investigation by the Department of Education or Office for Civil Rights. Many campuses have found themselves the target of a DOJ/OCR lawsuit due to inaccessible content, including uncaptioned or inaccurately captioned videos.

The Accessing Higher Ground Conference is held annually and offers topics on accessible media, web, and technology. It is intended for higher education, businesses, and other audiences. The conference provides best practices for web design, how to reach all potential audiences through accessible design, and compliance with existing and anticipated Section 508 and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations.