Captioned Media Request Instructions

Instructions to Provide Reasonable Accommodation for the use of Media

In all cases, it is the responsibility of the course instructor to ensure that all media used in class is accessible to all students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

In order for your students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing to access all educational material in the classroom, it is imperative that they be able to access any media that is presented. Different types of media are used in classrooms and might include: YouTube clips or internet media, purchased educational or feature films, internal content - produced by ISU, a university department, or an instructor.  Presented below are ways that you can ensure that media is accessible to all students in your classroom. The key to any technology solution is to plan well ahead of time.

Using YouTube Clips or Internet Media

There is a myriad of content on YouTube and other sites. Many of these sites are currently in litigation due to inaccessibility and/or may be attempting to fix issues with access. However, many of the fixes being employed are temporary in nature and are not proper resolutions. As such, it is our legal responsibility at ISU to ensure that Deaf and Hard of Hearing students can access videos used in the classroom.

Some suggested methods to ensure accessibility are:

  1. If the clip is no longer than 60 seconds, provide a brief but thorough explanation of the clip prior to viewing.
    1. This brief explanation can be offered orally, before the viewing, to the entire class.
    2. This brief explanation can be provided in written form, prior to viewing.
  2. If the clip is longer than 60 seconds, a transcription of the language/communication must be provided to the student prior to watching the clip.
  3. If you are using media such as Netflix, ensure that the captioning/subtitle option is selected before playing the movie. If the movie has yet to be captioned, provide a transcript prior to the viewing.

* If you are unsure if the media you are using has an appropriate captioning service attached to it, please contact the Student Disability Resource office for consultation.

Using Purchased Educational or Feature Films

Instructors understand the importance of providing stimulating and relevant educational media in the classroom. Because of federal laws enacted in the 1980’s and 1990’s, the vast majority of all DVDs now produced come with embedded captions and/or subtitles. Because it is difficult to always keep up with technology, some DVD players may function slightly differently than others throughout our campus classrooms. There are several ways to alleviate the awkward experience of not being able to get the captioning to work when the movie starts at the beginning of class.

  1. Check the back of the film packaging to see if it is captioned and/or subtitled.
    1. The preference is always for closed captioning over subtitles, as the closed captioning also provides information on environment sounds, not just spoken communication. Typically, a movie with captions will have a small bold framed logo of CC.
    2. If there is no captioning, you may look for subtitles. Often, the top of the movie jacket will let you know if it is subtitles, and will look something like Subtitles: English. There are videos that list subtitling of other languages, but not English. If English is not listed as one of the subtitled languages, then it will not produce English subtitles.
  2. Please take the time to test your DVD in the player provided in the classroom equipment console.
    1. If, in rare instances, the player doesn’t seem to be able to activate the captioning, attempt to play the videos with subtitles.
    2. If you are unable to play the movie with subtitles, please contact Technical Support.
    3. If the player is problematic, try playing the movie off of a laptop that you connect to the console.
    4. If technical support is unable to provide a fix and you are unable to play the movie with captioning or subtitles from your laptop, please contact the Student Disability Resource office for consultation.


Adding Captions to Internally Produced / Requesting Purchased Captioned Media

As more instructors strive to “flip the classroom” and infuse their pedagogy with new forms of technological delivery, there is an increased need to ensure that videos being produced are accessible from the start. It is essential that you create media with captions so that post-production changes or adaptations and expenses are avoided.  Please keep in mind that access to all media shown in your classrooms is required and will allow all students to participate.

  1. Videos produced by you or another instructor must have the option to turn on captions. Media platforms such as YouTube and Panopto allow you to add captioning.
    1. Services like YouTube allow you to upload your own transcript for captioning, and instructions are contained on their site.
    2. Some services like Panopto which work seamlessly with BlackBoard, allow you to outsource the captioning process for a fee.
  2. To request captioned videos and media that are housed in Parks Library:
    1. Contact fulltime Media Center staff during business hours 8am-5pm Monday-Friday or email with a list of the media items needed, well in advance. They will check for the availability of captioning and/or transcripts for items owned by the Library and let you know what they find.
    2. If ISU Library owns the media items with captioning, follow library processes as indicated below:
      1. For media to be used in the classroom, conduct your search in the Library Catalog, locating the needed title.  Click on the request item link and complete the online booking form.  In the "note box" indicate need for captioning.
      2. To request media for course reserve lists, place the selected media on reserve following standard Library procedures, using the online form:  In the "comment box" indicate need for captioning.
    3. If the Library media item is not captioned, please send the material to Student Disability Services for captioning.
    4. If you are not showing the media in class, but putting it on course reserve, please go to: and fill out the form there, again explicitly stating in the “note box” that you need to ensure the materials are captioned.
  3. If ISU Library does not own the requested media item, you may request purchase by completing the online form located at: In the "other information box", indicate the need for captioning.
  4. Email ITACD at, to inform ITS Classroom Services of the location that the captioned films/media will be shown. ITACD will make sure that the equipment will allow closed captioning will be installed in general classrooms.


NOTE:  Regardless of whether the Library is acquiring new materials with captioning or investigating captioning options for existing media, this process can take several weeks.  Please plan accordingly.


Revised November 21, 2012