Instructional Materials

Where can I go online to view information for faculty about Instructional Materials?

To obtain information about instructional materials accessibility visit the Accessibility Information for Instructors webpage. Through this webpage you will find information about several helpful resources including the instructional materials accessibility checklist, quick tips to make instructional materials in MS Word, PPT and PDF accessible, EarlyTextbook adoption information, Captioning information and more.

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What is the Accessible Technology Initiative?

The Accessible Technology Initiative is a California State University (CSU) campus wide project whose mission is to ensure that each CSU campus follows CSU policy and federal and state laws pertaining to access to information and technology.

Sacramento State is dedicated to meeting the needs of persons with disabilities in all aspects of its academic programs and services. The university recognizes the importance of making its physical facilities as well as its information technology services accessible to serve the largest possible audience and ensure the campus is accessible by everyone.

Where can I find information about the Accessible Technology Initiative?

You can find information about the ATI by visiting the Accessibility at Sacramento State Websiten.  This website was created to provide you detailed information about the ATI's 3 priority goals which include: Web Accessibility, Instructional Materials Accessibility and Accessibility of Procurement of Electronic and Information Technology and information about how Sacramento State is implementing and addressing each area. This website offers several valuable resources including information about upcoming ATI related events, Accessibility Training and ATI timeline information to just name a few.

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Are training sessions available about creating accessible instructional materials ?

Training sessions about how to create accessible materials in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat, and how to create an accessible syllabus are offered through Academic Technology and Creative Services (ATCS) and IRT departments at Sacramento State. We offer these training sessions Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.

To obtain more information and to sign up for training workshops on instructional materials accessibility and web accessibility, visit the Technology Training webpage.

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How do I register to attend accessibility training sessions?

To register for accessibility training workshops please go to the training website. You can also see a list of upcoming accessibility training workshops and ATI related events by visiting the Training and Events Calendar page.

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Where can I view information about accessibility training workshops available for faculty?

To register for accessibility training workshops visit the training website and follow the "How to Register" instructions on the page to create a new account.  To learn about upcoming Accessibility Training workshops you can also visit the ATI Training and Events Calendar webpage.

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Where can I find training manuals, tutorials and other documentation that I can use to learn about creating accessible instructional materials in MS Word, MS PPT, and Adobe Acrobat?

You can find training materials to guide you through the process of creating accessible instructional materials by visiting the "Creating Instructional Materials." Through this webpage you can download trianing manuals for creating accessible content in Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat, and how to create accessible webpages. Visit the Professional Development for Accessible Technology website, which is a CSU systemwide resource for teaching and learning about accessible technology. This website will feature CSU faculty spotlights about faculty who are "taking the initiative" to make thier courses accessible. It also offers ATI recommened training and tutorials for the development of accessible materials.

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What do I do if I need to caption and/or transcribe a video/audio file for a course I am teaching where a student who is deaf or hard of hearing is enrolled?

Getting your videos/audio files captioned and transcribed for a course is fairly simple.

  • First, identify any video and/or audio based materials you will use in your course.
  • Second, complete the online captioning request form. Please submit requests at least two weeks before the date you will need the media to be captioned. Turnover of the captioned files depend largely on your promptness in submitting the request and on the size and duration of the media files. You will be asked to provide your name, saclink email address, name of files, location, and copyright release information. 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.
  • Submit media files in person to Video Services located in AIRC 1012, 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 will process your request. 
  • Provide proof of copyright release for all applicable media files. Copyright release is required for all applicable media files before we can provide the final captioned and/or transcribed files to you. 
  • Check your Saclink email for updates on your request. We will send all communications regarding your request to your Saclink email.

Video Services also offers other captioning and transcription services which are Free of cost but that must be requested at least three weeks in advance from the date the captioned and/or transcribed files are needed. These services include captioning and transcription via an audio-mining tool called DocSoft. The process requires more time since the captioning and transcription is done in-house. To inquire about AST service or DocSoft please call the Service Desk at 278-7337. Visit the Captioning and Transcription Services at Sacramento State webpage for more information.

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Is there an online form I can fill out to request captioning/transcription services?

Yes, complete the online captioning request form by clicking on the resource link. Please submit requests at least two weeks before the date you will need the media to be captioned. Turnover of the captioned files depend largely on your promptness in submitting the request and on the size and duration of the media files. You will be asked to provide your name, saclink email address, name of files, location, and copyright release information. You can also send an email to cvera@csus.edu if you need captioning or transcription for a video/audio file.

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What is the cost to caption/transcribe video and audio for a course I am teaching?

If a student with a disability is enrolled in your course, captioning costs are covered through a limited captioning fund through the ATI. If you are a professor who does not have a student with a disability enrolled in your course but would like to start getting your videos and/or audio files captioned, you can email cvera@csus.edu to request captioning services through our in-house audio mining captioning service called Docsoft. We do ask that you request this service at least 4 weeks in advance. There is no cost for this service.

In how many days will my video/audio files be captioned/transcribed?

We ask faculty to allow at least 2 weeks for their video/audio files to be captioned/transcribed. Turnover of captioned content depends on the file types, whether additional labor is required to edit these into the correct format for captioning and/or if the files are submitted in a timely manner for captioning.

How much time in advance should I submit my video/audio files to video services for these to be captioned/transcribed on time?

You need to submit video/audio files at least 2-3 weeks before the date that you will need them captioned.

My video/audio files are not posted online but I have the physical copies, where do I drop them off to get them captioned/transcribed?

Please contact the Instructional Materials Specialist at cvera@csus.edu to drop off the files in person at Video Services 1012.

My video/audio files are on my Media Server folder, what do I need to provide you in order for you to access them for captioning and transcription?

If your files are located on the campus Media Server, please indicate this on the captioning request form by specifying the folder name, and the file names to be captioned. This will allow us to locate the files quickly.

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How will I get access to the captioned/transcribed media files to show in class and/or post to website/SacCT course?

This depends on how you intend your students to access the video/audio files. If you are planning on having your students access the media files from your SacCT course or from your faculty website, then we will provide you with a link to the captioned video/audio file located on the campus Media Server  You can then place this link on your SacCT course and/or Faculty website for your students to access and view the streamed video/audio file over the web. Please note that in order to play any video/audio files from the campus media server, you and your students will need to have RealPlayer installed on your computer. You can download RealPlayer for free by visiting the RealPlayer website. If you require a physical copy of the captioned movie to show during the class session by use of the dvd player in the classroom, we can provide you with a DVD.

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Yes, before we can release the captioned videos and/or audio files, you will need to provide the Video Services department, proof of copyright release from the publisher of the video/audio. Contact the Instructional Materials Specialist at cvera@csus.edu for assistance.

Copyright release (permission to create a captioned copy) of the video/audio file can be obtained by contacting the publisher of the media. Some publisher information is readily available by looking up the video/audio information and can be requested via a letter, email or phone call. Please contact the Instructional Materials Specialist at cvera@csus.edu for assistance.

What resources are free and available for me to caption/transcribe small clips I own?

If you would like to caption your own video and audio files, you can use the National Center for Accessible Media's free Media Access Generator MAGpie captioning tool.  This software tool allows multimedia content developers to easily add captions to thier audio and video content. With MAGpie you can caption web audio and video content for use in Quicktime, RealPlayer, and Window Media Player. To download the tool and to obtain instruction on how to install and use the tool visit the National Center for Accessible Media website. To obtain helpful training on how to use the tool, visit WebAIM's Software for Captioning webpage which offers step by step instructions on how to use the tool depending on the version you installed on your computer. Also, visit the Captioning and Transcription Services webpage to learn about more free captioning resources and tools.

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How do I know if a video tape I will use in class is closed captioned?

How to Check if a Video or DVD has Captions or Subtitles:

1. Check the Sacramento State Library Catalog (if you plan to borrow the film from the Library Film Collection) to see if it is closed-captioned. You can search by title in the EUREKA Library Catalog Film Collection or view the list of Video Recordings For The Hearing Impaired.
2. If you are bringing in your own videotape or DVD check the box/cassette to see if has one of the following symbols:

  •   Closed Captioned for the Hearing Impaired
  •   (CC)
  •   Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (SDH) (for DVD only)

3. If you are still not sure if the videotape/DVD has captions or subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, please contact Services to Students with Disabilities (SSWD) at (916)278-6955. The SSWD office is located in Lassen Hall 1008 and is open from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday-Friday (voice mail after hours) or you may e-mail SSWD at sswd@csus.edu.

How to Show a Video with Captions or Subtitles in the Classroom

1. If you have a videotape and the video is closed-captioned, you can use one of the following four (4) options to show the captioned video:

  • Use a Smart classroom with closed-captioning capabilities. To find out if your classroom is on the list of smart classrooms with closed-captioning capabilities please see classroom details in Smart Classrooms Locations or contact Classroom and Computer Lab Services by contacting the Help Desk (278-7337, AIRC 2005 or helpdesk@csus.edu). If the classroom has closed-captioning capabilities, turn on the caption decoder that is installed in the A/V console. From the phone in the classroom dial x87337 for assistance.
  •  Reserve a Smart classroom with closed-captioning capabilities. Call Classroom Support Services (278-6111) for information on Smart classrooms with closed-captioning capabilities. Requests for semester room assignments are made to the academic department secretary at the time a class is being scheduled. As needed bookings can be requested through the Office of Space Management.
  • Arrange to have Classroom and Computer Lab Services broadcast the closed-captioned video into the classroom. Be sure to ask them to use a closed caption decoder. Classroom and Computer Lab Services staff require at least two day’s advance notice to arrange for the connections. Arrangements to reserve equipment can be made by contacting the Help Desk (278-7337, AIRC Room 2005, helpdesk@csus.edu).
  • Use a classroom TV and change the internal TV menu setting using the remote control to activate the captions by tuning it to “C1” (not “C2” or “TEXT1”). If your classroom does not have a TV, you can borrow a TV cart with a closed-captioning decoder from Classroom and Computer Lab Services. Arrangements to reserve equipment can be made by contacting the Help Desk (278-7337, ARC 2005 or helpdesk@csus.edu).

 2. If you have a DVD with Subtitles for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (SDH), you can use a laptop DVD player (e.g. Windows Media Player) or classroom DVD player (or borrow a TV/DVD player from Classroom and Computer Lab Services - see instructions above). To turn on captions or subtitles in Windows Media Player, press "Alt" to activate the menu bar, choose "Play," choose "Captions and Subtitles," and then choose "On if Available." If you are using a classroom DVD player, go to the “Set-up” or “Languages” page of the DVD menu using your remote control where you can activate the subtitles for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing. No closed-caption decoder is required for this step.


3. Please contact Classroom and Computer Lab Services by contacting the Help Desk (278-7337, ARC 2005 or helpdesk@csus.edu)

What To Do If the Video/DVD is not Captioned:

  • If the videotape or DVD you are bringing in or the existing title in the Library Film Collection is not closed-captioned, you can conduct a search for a captioned copy in the marketplace using the Described and Captioned Media Program administered through the National Association of the Deaf, or to get information on agencies that will caption the video. If there is a captioned copy available, it can be purchased with your department’s approval. Faculty can also edit their video and audio using the Faculty Staff Resource Center and Origination Lab resources by contacting the Help Desk (278-7337, ARC 2005 or helpdesk@csus.edu)
  • Otherwise, please contact Services to Students with Disabilities (SSWD) at (916)278-6955 to discuss alternatives that will provide your Deaf or hard-of-hearing student with access to the material.
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How do I record closed captioned media from home?

How to Record Closed-Captioned Media From Home:

1. Consult the TV Guide at www.tvguide.com before you begin recording to see if the program is closed captioned. The TV Guide will designate closed-captioned programs with the “(CC)” symbol.
2. If the program is closed-captioned, you may record it – even without activating the captions at home. The captions will still be displayed in your classroom with the assistance of the closed-caption decoder.
3. To ensure that the captions will be displayed without any difficulty, bring the media to Classroom Support Services for verification.
4. As you prepare to show the media in the classroom, please check to make sure the video is closed-captioned.
5. If the program is not closed-captioned and it is essential to the teaching of your course, please contact Services to Students with Disabilities (SSWD) at (916)278-6955 to discuss alternatives that will provide your Deaf or hard-of-hearing student with access to the video.

Where can I look up closed captioned copies of the video/audio I want to use in class?

There are several media repositories that can be used to browse through closed captioned titles. These include: The Described and Captioned Media Program, the Alternate Media eXchange database (AMX) which can be accessed by the Alternate Media Staff in the SSWD office, and the Library catalog can be used to learn if the video you will check out is captioned or not.

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What do I do if I cannot find a closed captioned copy of the video/audio I will use in class and I cannot have the school caption/transcribe the media in time to use for my course where a student who is deaf or hard of hearing is enrolled?

You will need to work with the Services to Students with Disabilities Office to have an accommodation be provided to the student in order for them to access the media content for the course. If the video/audio is essential to the teaching of your course, please contact Services to Students with Disabilities (SSWD) at (916) 278-6955 to discuss alternatives that will provide the student who is Deaf or hard-of-hearing with access to the video.

Who do I contact if I have questions about captioning video/audio I will use in my course?

Contact the Instructional Materials Specialist cvera@csus.edu and visit the Captioning and Transcription Services website.

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I received a letter from the office of Services to Students With Disabilities notifying me that a student enrolled in my class has print/audio related needs, what do I do and who should I contact?

Services to Students with Disabilities will notify you if we require anything from you such as a copy of your course syllabus and other course materials that may need to be converted into an alternate format for the student to be able to access. If you have questions please contact the Services to Students with Disabilities Office at 278-6955.

Who do I contact if I have questions about captioning video/audio I will use in my course?

Contact the Instructional Materials Specialist cvera@csus.edu and visit the Captioning and Transcription Services website.

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Who should I contact if I need help looking up e-text versions or for more information about converting text books into alternate formats for a student with a disability enrolled in my course?

You can contact the Instructional Materials Specialist cvera@csus.edu 278-2847 for help looking up e-textbooks. If you have questions about textbook conversion into alternate formats, you can contact the Alternative Media Specialist, at (916) 278-7915 or e-mail htc@csus.edu.

Who should I contact for help on creating accessible instructional materials for my course?

Contact the Instructional Materials Specialist , Cryssel Vera, cvera@csus.edu or 278-2847.

Where can I download the accessible syllabus templates?

The Accessible Syllabus Template can be downloaded by visiting the Instructional Materials Accessibility Guides webpage or by visiting the Academic Technology and Creative Services Syllabus Templates webpage.

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What is assistive technology?

Assistive Technology are "products, devices or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that are used to maintain, increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities..."(Assistive Technology Act of 1998) Assistive technology can be hardware or software that enable users with disabilities to access information. Some examples of assistive technology software include:                                                                                                                      

  • Screen readers:  software programs that present graphics and text as speech.
  • Screen magnifiers: programs that allow the user to enlarge everything on the screen 
  • Scan/read software: scans information to the screen using optical character recognition and then "speaks" it out loud using text-to-speech
  • Alternative input devices: allow individuals to control their computers through means other than a standard keyboard or pointing device. 
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Is there a list of areas to cover when preparing an accessible course?

The Instructional Materials Accessibility Checklist can be found by clicking on the Additional Resource link below.  The Instructional Materials Accessibility Checklist covers 11 of the most common instructional material areas you will encounter in your course. You can use this checklist to review both brand new courses and courses with substantial changes starting June 2010. For brand new courses, these checklist items can be considered as guidelines to be followed, as appropriate, at the time your course will be offered. The checklist will apply for existing courses at the point of course redesign, when a student with a disability enrolls in the course, or for all other courses, by fall 2012. Some of the key Areas mentioned in the checklist include:

  • Textbooks - Have you submitted your textbook requests to the bookstore for Spring Semester? See Master Calendar of deadlines.
  • Syllabus - Is it in Electronic Format and readily available to students?
  • Videos and Audio - Are these captioned and/or transcribed?
  • Accessibility Training - Have you attended one of our accessibility workshops?
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Where can I obtain more information about the resources and services available to students registered with the office of Services to Students with Disabilities?

You can visit the Services to Students with Disabilities website to obtain more information.

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Who can I contact for more information about making my instructional materials accessible?

Contact the Instructional Materials Specialist , Cryssel Vera, cvera@csus.edu or 278-2847.