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Module 3: How to Locate Captioned Videos and Create Your Own

Photo of students looking at a computer screen together

About This Module

The AEM Center offers this module as a part of an online learning series. Each module is self-paced and self-directed with technical assistance available from AEM Center staff.

Technical Assistance

Contact AEM Center staff through email or Twitter at anytime:

Luis Perez, Technical Assistance Specialist
Cynthia Curry, Director


The AEM Center is only providing the content for these modules. The listed activities are suggested to encourage reflection as you interact with the content. If you are taking this module for credit, you may be required to submit assignments to your credit provider. The AEM Center itself will not be collecting assignments for these modules. If your district, state, or other agency is offering credit, please follow instructions provided to you for submitting evidence of participation directly to that agency.

All of the modules in the AEM series are pre-approved for the IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) credential. If you currently hold IAAP Certification, you can submit completed activities for CAECs through the International Association of Accessibility Professionals.

Module Introduction

Captions on videos have benefits that extend beyond learners who are deaf or hard of hearing. In Module 3, you have the opportunity to learn how to find videos with captions, identify quality features, and create your own captions on a practice video.

To begin, watch a 1-hour webinar. The webinar will introduce some of the key concepts and skills you will learn in this module, including:

  • Definition of key terms
  • Benefits of captions
  • Standards and best practices for evaluating the quality of captioned content
  • Sources of high quality captioned content to support learning
  • Getting started with your own captioning skills

Webinar Resources

After watching the webinar, choose a level of mastery based on your goals for this module:

Entry Level

Time Commitment: 1 hour

Goal: Be able to explain the importance of captions to a colleague.



Start by making sure you have the sound turned off on your computer or mobile device. Next, search YouTube for a captioned video in a subject that is different than the one you teach, or choose a topic that is new to you. Turn the captions off and watch the video without the sound turned on.

After watching the video without the sound or captions, turn them on and watch the video one more time. Reflect on your experience with the following questions:

  • What did I miss when the sound and captions were turned off?
  • How crucial is what I missed to understand the topic?
  • What would happen if I were assessed on this content without the benefit of the captions?

Share your experience with a colleague who uses video in instruction. Explain the difference that captioning makes to learner perception of the content.

Build Level

Time Commitment: 2 hours

Goal: Select videos with high quality closed captions.



After completing the activities under the Entry level, select a video you have used (or plan to use) in your classroom and evaluate the  quality of the captions by asking the following questions:

  • Accuracy : Are there any parts of the video where the captions do not match what was said? Are non-dialog sounds that are essential for understanding included in the captions (e.g., traffic noises, a dog barking, wind blowing, a machine powering up)?
  • Consistency: Are the captions presented in a consistent way throughout the video? Are speaker identification, background sounds, and other elements of the captions handled the same way throughout?
  • Clarity: Is there speaker identification that makes it easy to know who is speaking when there are multiple people onscreen?
  • Readability : Does the caption timing provide sufficient time for them to be read completely? Are the captions in sync with the video's audio track? Are they obscuring any of the content in the video? Are they obscured by any of the content in the video?

The above questions were adapted from the DCMP Elements of Quality Captioning. After you have evaluated the video you selected, choose a new video from one of the sources listed in What Makes for High Quality Accessible Videos? and perform a similar evaluation. How do the first and second videos compare?

In conclusion, reflect on how this activity changed your perspective about the importance of high quality captions.

Proficient Level

Time Commitment: 3 hours

Goal: Create your own captioned video.



After completing the activities under the Entry and Build levels, follow these instructions to caption your own video:

  1. Download the practice video file from Google Drive. It is a short clip about basketball player Wilt Chamberlain that is available as a public domain resource (this means copyright law no longer applies).
  2. Upload the video file to your own YouTube account and choose from one of the following methods to add captions:
    • Edit the automatically-generated captions to make sure they include the proper punctuation, descriptions of background sounds that are essential for understanding, and other elements of quality captions described under the Build level. A link to instructions for editing YouTube’s auto-generated captions is provided on the AEM Center website under Creating Accessible Video
    • Install CADET and use it to caption the practice video and export a caption file in the SRT format. Follow the directions for uploading the caption file to YouTube.

Once your video is captioned, compare it to the professionally captioned version of the video available at AEM Center: What Makes for High Quality Accessible Video? How did you do? What are the differences between your captions and the professional version? What impact will this activity have on your future video captioning practice?

Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)

Print- and technology-based educational materials designed to be usable across the widest range of individual variability.

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Access for all people, including people with disabilities, to web environments.

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Digital form or representation of a sound which may be used for non-visual access to text and images.

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