Accessibility & Captioning of Video

What is Web Accessibility

Making sure online content is accessible to all is not only imperative for reaching our audiences but is also a priority across campus. Michigan State University has asked all staff to make sure their online content (web pages and online course materials) conforms to WCAG 2.0 AA standards. To learn more about web accessibility at Michigan State University visit the MSU Web Access Website. This site includes tutorials for making content accessible, information on training from MSU, and more!

Captioning Options for Recorded Zoom Webinars and Videos

There are many options for captioning your recorded Zoom webinars and videos. Several methods are described below. If you have a request from a client that cannot access a video due to a lack of captions, please contact Gwyn Shelle immediately at

If you are are budgeting for a program or project which includes online video content or recorded webinars, it is suggested that you include funds for captioning.

3rd Party Captioning Services

Michigan State University suggests two vendors for 3rd party captioning including ($1.50 per minute) and CaptionSync  ($2.59/minute). Both providers offer a convenient option with a quick turnaround. You will be responsible for reviewing the captions to ensure accuracy (especially videos with technical information) and will need to upload the caption file to where you are hosting your video. For more details go to the Hiring a Third Party Captioning Service page on the MSU Web Access site.

Captioning Your Own Video

There are many free to low cost options for captioning your own videos. Captioning is time intensive and takes a medium-level of expertise. Following are some options:

  • MSU MediaSpace is a platform for MSU faculty, staff and students to upload and share videos. In MediaSpace there is an auto-captioning feature which can be used to initially caption a video or Zoom recording. However, the auto captions must be reviewed for accuracy and any errors must be corrected in the built-in editor. It takes approximately 4 or more hours to edit a one hour video. Students can be trained to use the MediaSpace editor. For more details read the following manual: Storing and Captioning Videos in MediaSpace.
  • Camtasia is a video editing tool which can be used to create clips or recorded PowerPoint online lectures. If you write a script for your recording in the Notes section of your PowerPoint that text can be imported as captions. You will have to set the timing for the captions (to control when the captions are viewed).
  • YouTube has an auto captioning tool and editor which is helpful if you are planning to share your video through YouTube.

Following is a short tutorial on captioning in YouTube and Camtasia: Creating Your Own YouTube/Camtasia Captions. For training on any of these applications please contact Gwyn Shelle at

Zoom Webinar/Meeting Sign Language Interpreter Requests

Staff should always ask participants if they have any accessibility needs during the registration process for a Zoom meeting or webinar. If you receive a request for a sign language interpreter, resources can be found on the Civil Rights website: Civil Rights Resources with link to interpreters and step-by-step instructions for meeting an accommodation request: Meeting an Accommodation Request. MSU Extension staff can email Gwyn Shelle at for assistance with Zoom.

It is important to give participants instructions on how to join a Zoom meeting and correctly pin the sign language interpreter for their view. Below are instructions for participants joining a meeting with a laptop or tablet - there are limitations for participants joining with a tablet or mobile device.

Participant Zoom Meeting Instructions - Sign Language Interpreter

Live Transcription in Zoom

Live transcription is available for Zoom meetings and webinars at Michigan State University. Following are some basic instructions:

  • The host of the meeting or webinar must enable Live Transcription in their settings (
  • Give participants instructions on how to show and/or hide the transcripts
  • Speakers should use a headset to increase accuracy

For more information read the following article from Zoom: Closed Captions and Live Transcription in Zoom.

Accessibility in Online Courses

MSU Extension staff who are thinking about offering an online course may contact Gwyn Shelle, MSU Extension Instructional Technology Specialist, at for assistance with planning an online course, the development of content, instructional design strategies, and accessibility.

Online Training: The Importance of Accessibility

Watch the following videos to learn more about the importance of accessibility in our work within MSU Extension:

The Importance of Accessibility: Part 1

The Importance of Accessibility: Part 2