Captions in Alternate Delivery Formats

Live Synchronous or Recorded Asynchronous Delivery 

This information is provided to support instructors who receive requests for captioning as an academic accommodation for students registered with Student Accessibilty Services (SAS) under the policy and procedures approved by Senate. 

SAS may inquire about your plans for teaching a course in order to assist with identifying an appropriate solution to meet a student’s needs. 


Option 1: Microsoft Teams for Live Synchronous Lectures 

If you choose to use Microsoft Teams to deliver live lectures, then the free user-enabled live captioning feature may be sufficient. In this scenario, the student can enable the captioning feature on their end, and no action is required by you. If the auto captioning feature is insufficient, then the student should contact their SAS advisor who can assist with more robust options (see option 7 below). 


Option 2: Microsoft Teams for Recorded Asynchronous Lectures 

If you choose to use Microsoft Teams to deliver recorded lectures, then the recording can be auto captioned after the fact, once it becomes available on Microsoft Stream; however, the video details will have to be updated by the owner, with the Video Language set to an appropriate language with Autogenerate captions enabled.

instructional screen capture

Microsoft Stream (where Microsoft Teams videos are hosted) auto-generates time-stamped transcripts that play alongside the video(revealing synchronized transcripts). Students can fast-forward or rewind via the video or the transcript while the audio and visual material are synchronized.  Microsoft Stream also provides closed captions. 


Option 3: Zoom for Live Synchronous Lectures 

Effective Winter 2021, Zoom has released an automated Live Transcription (closed captioning) service to Educational/Pro account holders. This service automatically captions the speakers in your Zoom meetings, adding their text to the bottom of the meeting window, as well as a making a live transcript available in its own panel. Please visit our Zoom: Live Transcriptions Service page for details.

Interact Streamer is currently another option available to students for live captioning and transcribing a meeting in real-time. Depending on a student’s academic needs, there may be a cost for this; SAS will resolve these issues with students.

Option 4: Zoom for Recorded Asynchronous Lectures 

If you choose to use Zoom to deliver recorded lectures (as with Teams described above), when recorded to the Cloud, Zoom automatically generates time-stamped transcripts that play alongside the videosWhile this is not true “closed captioning”, it will be sufficient for many students with hearing-related disabilities.  

This option is not available if you record to your personal computer. This feature is only available if you record the lecture to the Cloud.  If you have Zoom recordings on your computer for which you want transcriptions, one of the two options below is recommended. 


Options 5 and 6: Recordings Stored on a Personal Computer 

If you have videos or recordings on your personal computer for which you subsequently require captions, then the following options are available:   

  1. You can upload the videos/recordings to Microsoft Stream (through Office 365) and an auto-generated transcript (described above) will be created 
  2. You can use YouTube, where transcription results can be made available to students. 

Option 7: Auto Captioning is Insufficient 

The auto-captioning tools described on this page currently operate at about 92% accuracy for most uses. This is often sufficient; however, it is possible that, in some casesa student requires a more robust solution. If a student indicates that the captioning/transcripts provided are insufficient, then they should be directed to speak with their SAS advisor. SAS may be able to identify alternatives that involve little or no additional work for the instructor. 


General AODA Compliance 

Supporting Instructors with General AODA Compliance in Their Courses 

When NOT an accommodation for a documented disability, captioning is not usually required. Captioning does help to create an inclusive environment, but it is not required.

In some cases, transcriptions are required by law; while in other cases, they are not. If course resources are contained within the University of Guelph Single-Sign-On (SSO) environments (e.g., within CourseLink), then transcripts are not required; although, it is a good practice that alignwith Universal Design Principles for access for all students). 

If course materials are contained outside of U of G SSO environments (e.g., YouTube or other publicly-accessible environments), then transcripts are required to meet AODA standards.