Girl student working at home desk, why video captions are needed in school budget

Building Video Captions Into Your 2020-2021 School Budget

The time for setting 2020-2021 school budgets is around the corner and, with what’s happening with COVID-19, building video captioning into your budget is now a critical component. But still, if a captioning solution hasn’t previously been included in your budget or your needs have expanded while remote learning makes up the majority of classroom experiences, how to work captions in your budget can still be confounding. 

This two-pronged approach will help you successfully integrate video captioning into your 2020-2021 school year budget. It starts with getting institutional buy-in for video captioning and explaining just how necessary – as well as beneficial – video captions are.

1. Understanding the Legal Requirements

Captioning isn’t just a good idea, it’s required by law! The following laws and noncompliance consequences will define your validation for including video captioning into your annual budget.

ADA Requirements for Video Captioning

Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in services, programs, and activities provided by State and local government entities. It includes publicly funded universities, community colleges, and vocational schools.

Entities subject to Title II are required to provide equally effective communication, regardless of the medium chosen. This includes accurate closed captions for all educational videos available to both students and the public.

Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of offerings by public accommodations. This includes over five million private establishments, such as restaurants and libraries, as well as private colleges and universities.

Under Title III, Private universities are required to caption all course videos as well as ensure all other course materials and technology are accessible to students with disabilities.

Section 504 Requirements for Video Captioning

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs conducted by federal agencies, in programs receiving federal financial assistance, in federal employment, and in the employment practices of federal contractors.

Any colleges, universities, or businesses that receive federal funding are subject to Section 504 and must provide accurate closed captions on all educational video.

Section 508 Requirements for Video Captioning

Section 508 establishes requirements for electronic and information technology (EIT) developed, maintained, procured, or used by the Federal government. They are modeled after WCAG 2.0, the international guidelines for web accessibility. Section 508 applies to federal agencies, states who have adopted the standards into their laws, and any state schools who receive Federal funds under the Assistive Technology Act. 

Consequences for Not Offering Video Captions on Virtual Learning Materials

Failure to comply with these laws does not only hurt students but can be very costly for the university. The DOJ and OCR have investigated over 20 universities in the last decade for violations of Section 504 and the ADA. In all of the cases, universities had to agree to a complete overhaul of their accessibility programs to ensure they provide equal access to students with disabilities.

The most recent lawsuits include those against Harvard and MIT for their failure to caption course content. You can read about the most common mistakes made and resulting resolutions here.

TAKEAWAY: Multiple federal laws require accurate closed captioning for course video content available to both students and the public. Failing to caption educational video can lead to an investigation by the DOJ and a costly resolution.

2. Analyzing the Many Benefits of Video Captions for Students and the University

As discussed in our ebook, Beyond Accessibility: Captioning Benefits in Higher Education, there are multiple benefits to captioning beyond just accessibility compliance.

The key to establishing a successful and appropriately sized video captioning budget is to clearly understand the ways in which captions improve student success and benefit the university.

Improved Learning Outcomes

Captions have been shown to improve student academic performance due to increases in focus, retention, comprehension, and literacy. Robert Keith Collins, a professor of American Indian studies at San Francisco State University, found that his students’ GPAs increased by a full GPA point during a two-year captioning case study. He noted his students were better able to focus, understand, and remember what they learned when the audio was reinforced with captions.

Additional research by Greg McCall and Carmen Craig found that captions significantly improved the reading comprehension skills of secondary school students in Kaneohe, Hawaii. In another study, conducted by Planet Read in India, same-language-subtitling on TV increased the literacy rate of children in the country, doubling the number of functional early-age readers.

Organized, Searchable Video Libraries

As you can see,  providing closed captions is a must. The best way to do this is to enlist a full-service video captioning solution that provides more than a simple captioning file. These services, such as time-stamped transcripts and video intelligence, enable your videos to be searchable and organized within your online video platform.

This means both students and faculty can easily find, watch, and share thousands of hours of legacy video content. Making your video library accessible through video data boosts video ROI and ensures content won’t be lost or wasted.

Improved Admissions and Marketing Efforts

In addition to optimizing your video library, video intelligence allows for enhanced reach, discovery, and engagement for any promotional videos used at the university. Video intelligence powers video SEO, improving search ranking results and expanding your potential reach.

Video Captioning in the Time of Coronavirus

Of course, video captioning online educational materials has taken on a whole new level of significance. From toddlers to teenagers to doctoral candidates, almost all learning is now being done remotely. And it’s not clear when that will end. Your school is required to provide accessible online learning content and video captioning is a big part of that.

But this is a great opportunity, as you can see as well, to build a strong video captioning program into your budget. What better time to do so than when you have to? And once it’s done and your program built, the money you invest will reap many benefits for years to come.

How cielo24 Works with Universities to Provide Video and Audio Captions, Transcripts, Media Data and Audio Description

cielo24 proudly works with universities across the globe to make media accessible!  Other benefits of using captions and transcripts to make media accessible are increased engagement, improved SEO, and increase conversions for digital content.

Begin captioning course video immediately at $1/minute. Contact us for a Free Enterprise trial based around your unique business needs. Or contact us online or call us at 1-855-243-5624.

You can also check out our new standard Audio Description solution, which helps schools meet compliance requirements and synthesizes the audio track with a visual description of the video content to accommodate blind and low-vision students..