Campus Captioning


The systemwide accessibility policy generally requires that videos be captioned. UC Berkeley has a number of campus resources related to captioning, including:

Captioning for Campus Events

For Campus Events, please reach out to the Office of Disability Access and Compliance to arrange for professional captioning. If these events are recorded and made available for viewing afterward, any recordings should include accurate captions.

Captioning Your Own Content

For self-captioning of your own content, we recommend starting with either a transcript or with the video platform's automated captions, if any. You can also engage a third-party captioning service. Your department is responsible for the cost of any third-party services.


Videos uploaded to YouTube in English and certain other languages will automatically be captioned by YouTube's speech recognition technology. Any automated captions should be reviewed and corrected. Follow YouTube's instructions to use and edit automated captions.

If you have a transcript or caption file, see YouTube's instructions on adding captions.

Course Captioning - For Students with Accommodation Letters

For students with accommodation letters, the Disabled Students' Program (DSP) will best be able to help the student get captioning services. See DSP's processes for Realtime Captioning for students with accommodation letters.

Course Captioning - General

DSP may not be able to help with captions for classes that have no students with letters of accommodation. The Accessible Course Content site has information about additional captioning services. Your department is responsible for the cost of any third-party services.

Several of the services offer captions for languages other than English, but they do not typically offer translation services.

Campus Captioning of Live Webcasts and Pre-Recorded Videos

Suggested Approach to Online Spoken Content for which UC Berkeley is Responsible

  1. Whenever the speaker being webcast/recorded is using a written script, that script should be saved to use as a starting point when captioning.
  2. When the webcast or video has little spoken content and/or the spoken content will remain online for a long time, captioning may be appropriate without a specific request for captioning.
  3. When the webcast or video has a great quantity of spoken content and/or the spoken content will be online only a short time,  and the disability of the requestor makes captioning necessary:
    1. If the content is not an academic course: Upon request, captioning may be available up to one hour/week per requestor.
    2. If the content is an academic course: Upon request, captioning may be available up to four hours/week per requestor, provided the requestor submits a written statement of intent to learn the subject matter. (If the requestor is a UC Berkeley student, the DSP Letter of Accommodation determines what is captioned, see below.)
    3. Once captioned, the webcast/video should remain captioned online without a request.

Campus Captioning Priorities

Because of the large quantity of online spoken content, the priorities below describe what is most important to caption when deciding what to caption next.

TOP PRIORITY: Academic Accommodations for a Student with a Disability Enrolled at UC Berkeley

Captioning of the webcast/video is a top campus priority if the webcast/video has been determined by the Disabled Students Program (DSP) to be either:

  1. A necessary and appropriate accommodation for a student with a disability to access the educational content of a course in which they are registered, e.g. a webcast/video is shown in class or assigned as part of the course's instructional materials, or
  2. Required to provide the student with the disability an academic opportunity equal to that afforded other students, e.g., an online course where the student is either registered or submits a written statement of intent to learn the subject matter.

Note: The first step for a UC Berkeley student to obtain captioning as an academic accommodation is to work with their DSP Specialist for a Letter of Accommodation.

HIGH PRIORITY: Depending on Subject Matter and Viewing Frequency

Captioning of the webcast/video is especially important when:

  • Many viewers are expected,
  • Subject matter will be relevant for a long time over multiple semesters, and/or
  • Subject matter is of particular interest to the disability community.