Rock Valley College

FAQ on Captioned Media

The DCMP Captioning Key provides guidelines for evaluating what constitutes acceptable versus unacceptable captions. Inaccurate captions can be worse than no captions and can be disruptive to the class. Videos that do not meet these standards should NOT be shown.

On most YouTube videos, a closed caption (CC) button would appear on the navigation/control bar at the bottom of the video. Select the CC button to either turn on or off the captions. To ensure that the captions are in English, select the settings button, then “subtitles/CC”, “on”, and then select the language. Typically for DVDs, captions can be turned on by choosing “settings”. From the dropdown menu, choose “Subtitle language”, select language, then press exit. For additional troubleshooting support, contact RVC’s AV support specialists at x-4857 or x-4818.

Turn off the sound and watch the entire video using the captions. While watching, ask yourself; “If I showed this video to the whole class with the sound off, would the captions be sufficient to fulfill the objectives of the video?” If your answer is “no” then you would need to choose one of the alternative options for obtaining quality captions.

Some publishers may have captioned versions available, although these may need to be special requested. It is suggested that you contact the publisher to inquire whether a quality captioned version is available.

The following free-of-charge libraries are available to search for properly captioned videos:


On the right hand side of the page, select “Library Catalog” and then “Classic Catalog”.

Once the Classic Catalog opens, select “Advanced Search” at the top.

Search for “Video recordings for the hearing impaired” and select “Subject” under the “Search In” tab.

  • Kanopy Streaming Videos (on the Library’s home page)

If you have questions about either turning the captions on or about whether or not a captioned version can be obtained, please contact: Brent Eckert Technical Services Librarian at (815) 921-4604 or the RVC Library at (815) 921-4600

Check with the DSS and/or Mass Communication departments to see if any previously captioned videos are available.


Before any captioning work can be done by RVC staff, the permission to do so must be obtained by the copyright holder. This is typically a production company or film studio.

If the video is online you should request permission from the account holder who posted the video. In some cases they are not the content creator however, and the original producer must be found and contacted. To do this look through the program credits for the copyright holder or filmmakers and then you can obtain their contact information and seek the permission.

If the video is on a physical format such as a purchased tape or DVD, then it is much easier to contact the producer and seek permission. Their distributor information should be somewhere on the box the material came in. A simple e-mail request might be satisfactory, however some larger companies and studios will require a special permission drawn up by their legal department."
When contacting the companies remember to ask if a permanent, open-captioned copy can be provided or purchased. Many times this is available and an option.

Once the proper permission has been obtained you should proceed with completing the request form and RVC staff can begin the captioning process.

The following fee-for-service options may be considered for producing quality captioned media:  


DSS and Mass Communication have partnered to provide a process for assisting RVC faculty and staff with obtaining quality captioned media. To initiate the request process, complete the request form.


If you cannot obtain media with quality captions through any of the above mentioned avenues, you may want to consider alternatives such as the following to ensure that the student has equal access to the media content:

  • Turn off the sound to the media so all students have the same access. (If the Deaf/HH individual must rely on sub-par captions, everyone else should have the same experience).
  • The student is a good source of information. Have a conversation with him/her to inquire about what he/she feels would be helpful. This may provide some additional alternatives for consideration.
  • Although not ideal, you could create a typed transcript of the audio on a Word  document, which would provide some degree of access for the student. This transcript should be placed just below the video on the computer screen and scrolled through as the audio plays.
  • Turn off the sound to the media and explain the video yourself while it is playing. This would allow all students to have the same level of access to the content.

Depending on the source format used (ex, YouTube channels that are linked to, etc.), faculty can upload files into EAGLE via the file upload tool.

In addition, faculty are encouraged to use the Rich Content Editor in EAGLE, which has a direct media upload control. The step-by-step instructions can be found here.

For additional assistance with uploading videos into EAGLE, please contact John Fillicaro at x-4625.