Captions and Subtitles Best Practices

Why are captions required?

Videos must contain captions so that those that have blindness or deafness can still perceive your content. For example, perhaps you have made a video of various locations across campus that you want potential students to know about. There is a soundtrack of music but no spoken word. In this case, the captions would contain an audio description of the images. This way, someone that has deafness will still be able to gain the information by reading the captions. Someone that has blindness will be able to perceive the information because their screenreader will read the captions to them. If the video images contained images of words, those words should also be included in the captions.

Live Captions

Learn how to present with real-time, automatic captions or subtitles in PowerPoint, from Microsoft. PowerPoint for Office 365 can transcribe your words as you present and display them on-screen as captions in the same language you are speaking, or as subtitles translated to another language.

Adding Captions to Videos

Faculty are encouraged to self-enroll in the Canvas course, “Accessibility In Your Course”. The course’s section regarding Video and Audio Accessibility is included below to assist during the current environment. In the future, you are encouraged to visit the Canvas course. It is an excellent resource published by the Center for Distance Education (CDE).


Using Studio

Studio captions are at least 80% accurate and include punctuation.

Note: If you already have a caption file and you just need to add it to your video in Studio , you can upload captions to Studio (Links to an external site.), following the steps about half way down the page.

Using Echo 360

The Echo360 system has a voice to text feature which can be turned on for any recording either uploaded to the Echo360 system or created through classroom recording devices. This feature produces a transcript once the recording completes processing. That transcript can be edited offline (online editing is coming soon), and then added back to the recording. If the editing complies with requirements (WCAG, the standards Section 508 adopted, reference Guidelines and Preferred Techniques for the Success Criterion related to closed captions), it can be added to the recording as a closed caption file. This process can be done without cost to the department.

UT Arlington has a negotiated contract with Cielo24 for closed captioning services. The Echo360 system can securely transfer the audio for recordings to Cielo24. At Cielo24, the audio file is used to create a fully compliant closed caption file, and that file is transferred back to Echo360 and added to the recording automatically. When the feature is turned on, there are no actions needed to be taken by users. The fees for this service are charged back to the academic departments.

In general, the closed caption process is initiated by a student providing an accommodation letter to their instructor, however an accommodation letter is not required to get recordings closed captioned. The instructor then informs the Echo360 administrator that closed caption services are needed. If the department elects to use Cielo24, billing information is provided to the Echo360 administrator.

Who to contact

To have voice to text turned on or to request closed captioning, contact the Echo360 administrator on campus, Don Lane. He can be reached at or 817-272-3296.