When do I need to make sure videos are captioned for deaf students?

The disability rights laws require media be captioned when it is requested as part of a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in K-12 settings or when a college student requests it as an accommodation for their classes during the interactive process. When a request has been made, schools must ensure that all aspects of the classroom are accessible. This means that media made available to the students must be captioned, whether required or used as supplemental materials for class.

However, many schools are also moving towards a proactive approach to captioning media regardless if a request has been made. Advantages to this approach are:

Prevents need to accommodate last minute requests

Policy is clear for all staff and faculty on how to manage captioned media

Supports Universal Design as research states video captions benefit everyone 

For additional support on understanding your school’s responsibility to provide captioned media please review our Equitable Access Guide (Sections 3 and 5). You may also contact our NDC Help Team for guidance on developing captioned media policies and procedures.

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Updated on July 28, 2022

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