Rock Valley College

Chapter 11: Accessible Media

Accessible media refers to audiovisual media content can be used, read or viewed by people with disabilities, particularly those who are blind, vision impaired, Deaf, hearing impaired or who have a physical disability.

An example of a piece of accessible content is a video with closed captioning, described video (more below), and a transcript for Deaf and/or blind viewers. (Credit: Rick Hansen Foundation)

Post-Production Captioning


Media captioning is the process of converting the audio content of media (i.e. videos, tv programs, podcasts, and webinars) into text on the screen. Subtitles are not the same as captions; Captions not only display dialogue and narration, they also include speaker identification, sound effects, and music description.  *content adapted from The Described and Captioned Media Program - DCMP 

Post-production captioning is different from a live captionist who provides streaming text in real-time (as the event is occurring). One example is a CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) captionist who is a trained professional who translates the spoken word into captions that appear in real-time for participants at an event or meeting.  


Audio Descriptions


Per the Described and Captioned Media Program Audio Description is a secondary audio track with additional narration that describes vital visual information for students who are blind and visually impaired.

Process for requesting accessible media

  • Contact DSS office to request this accommodation by phone: (815-921-2371, Email: or stop by)
  • Eligibility for this accommodation is determined via an interactive conversation between the student and the Accommodations Specialist
  • Once the Accommodations Specialist has granted approval, this accommodation will be automatically requested by DSS every semester for all courses the student is registered for
  • Faculty will be notified of the accommodation via the Faculty Notification Letter. The Accommodations Specialist will contact the Faculty to provide any necessary information regarding the process and what may be needed to ensure full access to course content for the student.
  • Students are responsible for contacting the DSS office regarding any questions or concerns they may have in relation to this accommodation. 

Requests for Non Course-Related Activities


Students can submit a custom request for accessible media for individual college events, meetings, or activities that are outside of regular scheduled class time.