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D4D Accessibility Guide

Milestone Overview: Captions

Video content should have captions

Captions provide a text description of the audio and sound of a video or multimedia content. This users engage with the content even if they aren't able or don't want to use the sound portion.

Accessibility Best Practices

If you are going to add video content to your guide do so using the Media Asset tool.

  • That will allow you to embed content from YouTube or other sources that you can reuse across multiple guides and update more easily using the Asset Management tools.
  • Be careful not to set the video to autoplay when you embed it.
  • If you embed videos, but captions and transcripts aren't available from the media widget viewer, also include a link to the video directly and add a description for that link that indicates to the user that captions, transcripts, audio description, etc. can be found at the link. (See example regarding YouTube video on Closed Captions below.) 
  • Add a <title> attribute to the embed code if video is using an iFrame
    • The should be the title of the video
    • Some media widgets will default to the software name not the title of the content.

If you are linking to someone else’s video try to select content that has captions and a transcript.

  • If you have no alternative resource make it clear in the link text that the video is not accessible.
  • Reach out to the video owner and ask them to consider adding captions and a transcript. You may find they agree.

If you're creating video content

  • Build captioning into your video planning and overall workflow
  • Find out what captioning resources your organization provides or are approved for video content creators


  • Some video platforms can provide automated captioning. Be aware that automated captions will need to be reviewed so be prepared to spend the time to do it (and/or get help).
  • You may need to spend at least double the length of your video captioning and/or reviewing captions

NYU Resources​

LibGuides Help Center Resources

Don’t do this! // How to do captions right! [CC]

Additional Resources

Project Management Suggestions

If your team is new to captioning find out if some other group in your organization creating video content, like your university's TV channel. Reach out to them to ask if they have experience captioning and what tools they're using.

Talk to your LibGuides authors to identify who's using or creating a lot of video content. Get them involved in developing best practice around captioning workflows and training. If that training can be offered more widely than just LibGuides authors the better to help create cross-departmental buy-in and understanding about accessibility.