Here are some tips to deal with uncaptioned commercial videos (DVD) that you want to use for instruction:
1. Get Permission to Caption
Adding captions to an existing commercial video requires getting permission beforehand from the copyright holder-- for some videos it may take some legwork to figure out who really owns the copyright. The owner might not be the same as the distributor of the video. Once you've figured out who has the right to give you permission to caption, it might just be a matter of sending an email or letter to secure written permission. Here are some tips:
When you contact the copyright holder, ask them for permission in writing to do the following:
If your goal is to stream the (captioned) video via Blackboard, you would ask to change the DVD to streaming video that will be accessed via Blackboard. That entails:
Note: If the video is already in streaming format, you would ask to add a caption file to the stream and post a link on Blackboard.
If your goal is to use a (captioned) DVD for your classes, you would ask to add captions to the DVD. That entails:
2. Get Captions
Once you have permissions in hand, it's a matter of creating a transcript and/or adding captions to the video. You can do this a number of ways:
Note: The DECT grant does not cover newly-purchased commercial videos, because by law they were supposed to have been captioned prior to purchase. More information is on the DECT web site.
You've made your own video for a class -- Bravo! Here are some options for captioning it:
[The SDCC Library would happily accept a captioned copy of your video.]
The DECT (Distance Education Captioning & Transcription) grant is administered by the College of the Canyons as its fiscal agent. The grant is intended to caption media for distance-education related use; this usually means instructor-produced videos that are tied to a specific course. The grant requires an applicant (instructor) to submit application paperwork for the funding to get items captioned, to send the videos to an approved vendor, and then to complete a follow-up report at the end of the course using the captioned videos. See the forms and instructions here.
The DECT grant pays for the captioning projects that are sent to a captioning vendor for processing. The College of the Canyons, fiscal agent for the grant, does not do the actual captioning. After approval of the project by the fiscal agent, the videos are sent by the instructor directly to an approved captioning vendor.
DECT has eligibility requirements for its grant process. Here are some excerpts from their web site’s FAQ page (emphasis added):
The following is a list of qualifying projects:
As a reminder, the following types of video do not qualify for funding:
"I don't have any deaf students in my class, so why must I use captioned videos?" Instructional media used in our district is required to be captioned. It's not just a good idea, it's the law. And here is some more legal stuff:
VHS/DVD: Remember to check for captions when previewing a video for instructional use. Although the Library's media collection is required to have only captioned materials, sometimes non-compliant items slip through. Also, the County Consortium collection still contains many uncaptioned videos. Check the VHS or DVD video packaging carefully for a "cc" icon or other captioning designation.
Streaming Video: Be aware that YouTube videos use automatic captioning that may not accurately convey the meaning of the audio. Try previewing those videos with the sound off and see if they make any sense before assigning them to your students.
Videos in the library media collection are required to be captioned.
New additions to the collection must be captioned prior to their being added, whether by purchase, donation to the library, transfer to the library from another department, or other means.
Due to staffing limitations, SDCC librarians do not handle any aspect of uncaptioned videos, including obtaining copyright permissions, sending out items for captioning, or managing DECT grant paperwork.