Accessibility: Auto-captioning with videos

Web accessibility has always been a requirement for UMaine websites, and has been a regular feature in our monthly newsletter.

With videos published to the campus websites, transcripts should be created and offered alongside the video. For many popular services (including campus systems such as Brightspace), transcriptions and closed captioning can be created automatically. While these services are improving over time, it is still necessary to review the captions created in the video, and edit for clarity and punctuation.

Social media captioning

In May 2021 Instagram added a captions sticker for Stories, which triggers the auto-captioning service for the video. Other social media platforms are also offering this option, including Twitter and TikTok.

Captions increase engagement

While the accessibility benefit of captions is important, offering on-screen text options for your videos also allows viewers to watch a video while it is muted, which may be preferable for those in an office environment. Captions also give an added level of clarity and can improve retention of the information you are presenting.

Captioning workshop in development

If you are interested in an upcoming workshop to review how automatic captioning works, and how to upload an improved set of captions to a Youtube- or Brightspace-hosted video, please contact us at We will schedule a session to review video captioning in Brightspace, Kaltura and Youtube in the coming months.