Explore UAB

Use this page to find resources related to managing captions on your videos in Canvas and Media Space.

Automatic Captioning

All videos uploaded into Kaltura (My Media/Media Gallery) after January 3, 2022 are automatically captioned with auto-generated captions. Learn more about Auto-generated captions and professional captions below.

Auto-Generated Captions

When videos are uploaded to Kaltura(My Media), captions are auto-generated. This is done using automatic speech recognition which scans the audio track for spoken English.

Auto-Generated captions are considered drafts as they are up to 80-90% accurate but may contain spelling or grammatical errors. It is important to proofread auto-generated captions and edit for accuracy.

These captions do not meet all accessibility standards. If you have students requiring captions as part of an accommodation, Professional Captions should be requested.

Professional Captions

Users can request captions be professionally edited which means the auto-generated captions are edited by a professional human.

These captions are 99-100% accurate and meet accessibility standards. Professional captions can be ordered in the following scenarios.

  • If you have students requiring captions as part of an accommodation (These take priority over all other scenarios)
  • Video content is utilized for a large audience (campus wide videos)
  • Video content is utilized for long-term viewership (designed to be used in an online course for several semesters/years)

Requirements & Best Practices

  • What are the legal requirements for captioning?

    The University is legally obligated to caption or provide a transcript of the following materials:

    • Audio/video content that is mandatory for all students (Example: orientation videos)
    • Online/hybrid courses or educational programs when a student who uses captioning as a reasonable accommodation is registered in the course. This scenario requires professional captioning.
    • Audio/video content that is shown as part of a face-to-face or live course or educational program, unless an interpreter or CART writer is present, when a student who uses captioning as a reasonable accommodation is registered in the course
    • Audio/video content that is mandatory for all employees, such as employee training videos (Example: UAB HR Open Enrollment video)
    • Audio/video content that is job-related to UAB employees who use captioning as a reasonable accommodation
    • Audio/video content that is accessed by the public and which is hosted on or embedded in an official UAB website or must have synchronized captions
    • Audio/video material requested to be accessible by a disabled individual as a reasonable accommodation
  • What are the best practices for editing captions?

    5 Elements of Quality Captioning

    1. Accurate - Errorless captions are the goal for each production.
    2. Consistent - Uniformity in style and presentation of all captioning features is crucial for viewer understanding.
    3. Clear - complete textual representation of the audio, including speaker identification and non-speech information, provides clarity.
    4. Readable - Captions are displayed with enough time to be read completely, are in synchronization with the audio, and are not obscured by (nor do they obscure) the visual content.
    5. Equal - Equal access requires that the meaning and intention of the material is completely preserved.

    The above guidelines provided by (DCMP-Described and Captioned Media Program) are consistent with the 2014 mandates by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

    A comprehensive list of captioning guidelines with screenshots and video examples can be found on the DCMP website.

Captioning Process

  • How long does it take for the auto-generated captions to appear?

    Captions generally appear within 1-2 hours after being fully transcoded into the system.

    Please note: Captioning When a video or audio entry is first uploaded to Kaltura, it is transcoded into the system (which can take 1-2 hours) then the captioning process begins.

  • Do I have to re-publish/re-embed once the captions are completed or edited?

    No action is needed from the media owner for auto-generated captions to appear. The auto-generated captions appear on the media automatically

    If you edit these captions or order professional captions, the edited captions will replace the current captions available by clicking the CC button on the player.

  • When should I request professional captions?

    If you have students requiring captions as part of an accommodation, Professional Captions should be requested through UAB’s Disability Support Services (DSS) professional captioning request form.

  • How do I get auto-generated captions on my older content

    Content uploaded to Kaltura after December 2021 is automatically captioned with auto-generated captions. If you have media that was uploaded before this data, you can request it be captioned by following the instructions in our Order Captions Guide.

  • Are Zoom and Kaltura captions different?

    Yes, Zoom’s captions are not imported along with the video. Kaltura captions are more accurate and will appear automatically once the video has processed, and the captioning process is completed.

Editing Captions

Custom Captions

  • My spoken audio is not in English, can my video be captioned in the spoken language?

    Auto-generated captions are automatically ordered for the source language English. If you would like to order captions in a different language, follow this guide to order Auto-generated captions and choose the source language that is being spoken.

    Please note: The source language must be selected properly as it will not translate to another language.

  • How do I remove the auto-generated captions from my video?

    Owners of media with captions can remove auto-generated captions by following these directions:

    1. Go to Media entry in your My Media.
    2. Click Actions, then Edit.
    3. Click the Captions tab (A).
    4. Click the X (B) if you wish to completely delete the file or click the “show on player” (C) icon to remove the captions from displaying on the video.

  • How do I upload a caption file?

    Users can add their own caption file produced elsewhere for videos in Kaltura by following these directions:

    1. Go to Media entry in your My Media.
    2. Click Actions, then Edit.
    3. Click the Captions tab (A).
    4. Click “Upload captions file” (B) button.

    Please note: This file should be a specific file type (SRT, DFXP, or VTT) made for captions that contain the spoken words and the timestamps. Transcripts cannot be uploaded here.

Student Specific Questions

  • Are student uploads also captioned with auto-generated captions?

    Yes, all videos that have an audio track are automatically captioned with auto-generated captions regardless of their role. Faculty, staff, and students all have the same level of access and receive the captions on videos upload.

  • How do I view captions?

    Students and other viewers can turn on the captions by clicking the CC icon in the video player. If there is not a CC icon at the bottom right of the player, that video does not have captions. You can contact the owner of the video to request they get it captioned.



Subscribe to our newsletter for academic technology updates, course design and delivery best practices and workshop/training opportunities.

Back to Top