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New Captioning and Transcription Service at Sacramento State

By Cryssel Vera, Instructional Materials Accessibility Specialist

Sacramento State is now offering faculty and staff another option to caption and transcribe media such as video and audio through the Automatic Sync Technologies (AST) captioning service available through Video Services. Sacramento State and other CSU campuses are taking advantage of an agreement between the CSU and Automatic Sync Technologies service company that offer participating campuses captioning and transcription services at a discounted price. Ken Forsyth, AST Administrator and Video Services Manager, Cryssel Vera, Instructional Materials Accessibility Specialist, and Services to Students with Disabilities, began pilot testing this new service in Fall 2008 by working with a few faculty that needed to caption/transcribe videos and/or audio for a course in which a student who is deaf or hard of hearing was enrolled.

According to the Accessible Technology Initiative’s Instructional Materials Priority, starting Fall 2008 instructional materials (print and electronic formats) must be accessible for brand new courses and for courses with substantial changes. Likewise, course materials for a course in which a student with a disability is enrolled, must be accessible as needed. Video and audio are forms of electronic instructional materials that are highly used and that enable the instructor to provide students with a more meaningful representation of concepts from a textbook or for other purposes. Because video and audio are highly used and impact the learning process for students, it is important for faculty to ensure access to the content of these media to all students. Using captioned videos and providing transcripts for audio files ensures that students with a disability can access these media.

In order to request captions and/or transcripts for video and/or audio files, faculty need to submit the Request Automatic Sync Service ( online form. A limited captioning fund from the ATI project will cover the cost for high priority projects such as those to caption/transcribe media files for a course in which a student with a disability is enrolled. Other captioning requests can be run through AST captioning service for the stipulated costs and charged to the department requesting the captioning. Faculty must submit their media files in person or inform Video Services if the files are posted online or on a server. Once Video Services receives the request and media files, Video services staff will upload the digital media files (e.g.  .mov, .rm, .wmv, etc.) to an AST automated captioning service online account to have the media captioned. Turnover of the captioned files depend largely on the size and duration of the media files; thus, we request faculty and staff to submit requests at least two weeks in advance from the date they need the media captioned and/or transcribed. Requestors must provide proof of copyright release for all applicable media files, before Video Services can provide the final captioned and/or transcribed files.

Video Services also offers other captioning and transcription services which are free of cost to campus departments but that must be requested at least three weeks or more in advance.  See for more information about captioning services.

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