Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Audio and Video Accessibility

Recording or curating

See the Media for your Course web page for all the information you need to know about recording and selecting media for your course.

Ensure media player is keyboard accessible

We know that YouTube and the Online Learning’s streaming media players are keyboard accessible players. The other advantages to these players are that they optimize the video streaming to the user’s best settings.

Keyboard accessibility

If you are using a different video player, please test it to make sure it can be used by those who cannot use a mouse.

  • Whatever the operation or behavior, make sure a mouse is not required.
  • Use the following keyboard keys to navigate and interact with the web page all of its content:
    • Tab
    • Arrow keys
    • Enter
    • Spacebar
    • Try to navigate to the video player.
  • Keyboard commands clearly provided (and common operating system and browser keyboard commands) may also be used
  • Could you complete the course without using a mouse?

Note: Our user evaluations have found Screencast and Screencast o matic video players to be difficult to use for people with disabilities.

Video captioning – not required

Instructors are not expected to caption/subtitle videos or transcribe audio. Of course it’s great if you select a captioned video.

In the case of accommodations for students with disabilities, the instructor will receive a faculty notification letter with instructions on how to get all media for the course captioned/transcribed in time for class use. Faculty should respond quickly to this notification, so captioning can be completed by DS and OL before the media is needed in the course. Important: Do not release any modules with uncaptioned video or untranscribed audio, if you have a student with a captioning accommodation. Wait until all media is captioned or transcribed before releasing that week’s module.

Captioning does have many pedagogical benefits, so if you are interested in captioning your self-produced videos here is how to do it in YouTube.

How to caption using YouTube

You can record from a webcam directly into YouTube or upload a video. Initially a new YouTube account has a 15 minute video length limit, but you can extend that time-limit by following these instructions.

  1. Set up a YouTube account (if you don’t already have one.)
  2. Log in to your YouTube account.
  3. Upload your video.
  4. Add captions.

Audio descriptions

Need to describe the visual information on the screen for students who are blind?

What to describe:
  • Describe the visual elements that are the most essential to the viewer’s ability to follow, understand, and appreciate the program’s curricular content.
  • Describe from general (global) to specific (local).
  • Describe additional details as time permits, but don’t try to fill every last moment with description.
  • Describe shape, size, texture, or color as appropriate to the comprehension or appreciation of content.
  • Consistently identify people and characters by name or obvious physical attribute (if no name is provided).
  • Describe discernable attributes and expressive gestures, but don’t interpret emotion or reasoning.
  • Convey scene changes and the passage of time if it aids in the comprehension of the program.
  • If time permits, describe montages of images (moving or still) that often serve a supporting role.
How to describe:
  • Use vocabulary that is meaningful to students who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Describe visual action or movement in terms of the viewer’s body.
  • Describe shapes, sizes, and other essential attributes of objects by comparison to objects that are familiar to the intended audience.
  • Deliver description in present tense, active voice, and in third-person narrative style.
    Speak clearly and at a rate that can be understood. Use the existing program audio as a guide.
  • Avoid describing over audio that is essential to comprehension (do so only when necessary).
  • Voice descriptions in conjunction with or before (but never after) the relevant visual content is onscreen.
  • Match vocabulary to the program, avoiding jargon.
  • Wait until technical vocabulary has been introduced in the program before using it in description.
  • Voice descriptions in complete sentences if possible.
  • Describe objectively, without interpretation, censorship, or comment.
  • Describe the source of sounds that are not immediately recognizable in the program context.

Descriptions guidelines from DCMP Description Tips

Online meetings (Zoom)

If you have a student or are a student (registered with Disability Services) who requires captioning in an online (synchronous) meeting, make arrangements for a captioner.

Instructor: suggestions for a successful session
  • Contact Sharon Allen from Disability Services to request a captioner. (Request a TypeWell captioner if math and chemical formulas are going to be used in the session. Use a CART captioner for all other subjects.)
  • Set up a session to practice this before students arrive and while technical assistance (like the Faculty Help Desk) is available.
  • Make the transcriber a moderator right away.
  • “Re-state” math problems by typing them into the whiteboard before completing the problem.
Student: suggestions for a successful session
  • Make arrangements with your instructor for a captioner at least a few business days before the session.
  • After entering/logging into the session, choose “Show Closed Captioning” (Ctrl/Cmd + F8) from the Collaborate Window menu, to open the captioning window. After it’s open, just wait for captioning to begin.
  • Don’t close the captioning window unless you don’t mind losing the caption history.
  • Ask your instructor or the moderator of the session to Record the session. That will record all the captions, even if you closed the captioning window mid-session.