Captioning Procedures

Portland Community College implemented the Accessible Technology Policy in 2018 as a way to strengthen our existing commitment to ensuring equal access as required under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The procedure below describes how our college will approach communication access for both live and pre-recorded offerings when there is not an active accommodation.

Overall approach

PCC is using a tiered approach to continue to ensure communication access and improve existing workflows. The tiered approach is as follows:

  • The use of a professional live captioning or transcription services when:
    • There is an active accommodation request by an individual.
    • The event is being streamed live and/or when a high participant volume is expected.
    • When the offering will be durable.
    • Examples: Commencement, Anderson Conference, Powwow, and re-org informational sessions.
  • When content is being adopted for a class or session from YouTube or is selected from an existing source, choose captioned media when possible and be ready to respond to accommodation requests for captions.
  • The use of automatically generated transcripts and captions as a baseline to make events and sessions more accessible.
    • Example: Department or identity center meetings.

What this means for PCC employees

Know that access and inclusion are a shared responsibility. Do your part:

Procedures for live events

  • Provide event notice that include a description of accessibility features that will be in place, and clear contact information for any accommodation requests. See accommodation notice examples.
  • Enable automatic transcription services (Google Meet provides this feature automatically, but for Zoom the host will need to enable the option).
  • If the event is smaller in nature, there are some exceptions to consider where live captions should be used instead of auto-enabled captions:
    • If there is an accommodation request.
    • If the event is public facing and/or being streamed live.
    • If the event is expected to draw a large number of participants or is interactive.
    • If there is a desire to proactively make the event fully inclusive by providing accommodations, such as ASL interpreting, captioning, and audio description.

Please make a request 5 days in advance to for ASL interpreters and/or professional live transcribers.

Current practices already in place

Creating content for the PCC website?

All public-facing media on the website must be captioned. Use the Media Production request form to get started on a new project or request captioning for existing media. See PCC’s website accessibility standards for more information.

Creating recordings for use in a PCC course?

Work with Instructional Support and follow their guidance for audio and video accessibility and creating accessible content.

If you’re using existing media for use in a PCC course, the PCC Library offers collections of mostly-captioned videos, and faculty librarians are available to help find captioned media (or request that vendors caption on demand).

Working with Marketing?

Follow Marketing’s guidance or contact

Working with Media Production?

Initiate a request via the Media Production request form.

Working with Media Services?

Specify on the Media Production request form if captioning is needed.

Not sure?
  • Use automatic captioning as a baseline, but professional captioning is preferred if possible.
  • Include an accommodation notice – see accommodation notice examples.
  • Reach out to for guidance.

Links to supporting technical documentation

Terms requiring further definition

Effective communication allows the person an equal opportunity to participate in an informed capacity and enjoy the benefits of a service, program, or activity.

  • Transcription: Professional or AI generated text for speech.
  • Captioning and subtitling: Timed display of text for audio.
  • Interpretation: Spoken or signed language.
  • Translation: Written word.
  • Audio-description: Narration of relevant visual information.
  • Automatically generated transcripts and captions: A baseline to make events and sessions more accessible.