Published Thursday, February 3, 2022
As many faculty know, West Virginia University maintains an in-house team of professional transcribers and sign language interpreters who work to make the classroom more accessible for students registered with the Office of Accessibility Services. This team is also one of the oldest and most accomplished in the country, boasting an annual student satisfaction rating of 99%.
What you may not know is that this program has recently expanded operations with the development of its new Closed Captioning Unit, the eventual goal being to offer free media captioning services for all videos shown in WVU classrooms. Faculty and advisors are encouraged to reach out with any custom captioning needs or questions.
When preparing media for use in the classroom, there are a few steps that faculty can follow to help ensure that their classroom is accessible for students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Use Closed Captioning:
Captions benefit everyone. Studies show that over 80% of students who use closed captioning are not Deaf or Hard of Hearing. For students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, nearly half of the media shown in the classroom is incomprehensible without closed captioning.
Use Quality Captioning:
Machine-generated captions, such as those automated by YouTube do not meet the standard necessary for effective accommodation. Captions provided by the Office of Accessibility Services are quality control checked against our own in-house standards, among the most rigorous in the industry, and OAS can help provide you with this high-quality media captioning at no charge.
When teaching courses where the curriculum remains constant from semester to semester, consider reusing existing media that has been professionally captioned. When creating your own videos, design them so that they are topical and not semester specific, when possible, thereby extending their lifespan.
The OAS Captioning and Interpreting Team are available for consultation. Whether you're evaluating videos for use in the classroom, designing your own videos for classroom use, or considering new media platforms, don't hesitate to reach out!
For questions about captioning or more information about the Office of Accessibility Services Captioning and Interpreting Team, contact Kelly.Barnard@mail.wvu.edu or call 304-293-0458.
Note the faculty at Health Sciences Campus use Panopto for course video management and recording. Here is a video tutorial - Panopto Basic Editing for Creators - with steps to add Captions to your videos.
If you are interested in using Panopto Recorder in your course, please complete the Panopto Access Request form. All SOLE sites must be approved to have Panopto enabled.