University of West Florida

Academic Technology Center



The AskATC knowledge base has been created to answer your questions about designing, developing, implementing, and teaching online courses.

Need help with your course?

Contact Our Instructional Designers:

Cindy Mersereau:
Phone: 850-474-3291

June Watkins:
Phone: 850-474-3165

Lior Flum:
Phone: 850-473-7239

Closed Captions and Transcripts


Closed captions are simply a text version of the spoken word. They are most often associated with the deaf, but many individuals can benefit from captions. They also provide support for ESL students, or students in a noisy environment.

Captions do not have to be verbatim, but they must:

  • Be synchronized to the audio
  • Be equivalent to the spoken word
  • Be readily accessible

A best practice is to include your lecture in the Notes area of your narrated PowerPoint slides. This becomes your caption when converted through Adobe Presenter.

Audio Descriptions

Audio descriptions are a type of caption that provides additional information about the activity on the screen. Often in movies or videos, what is happening on the screen is at least if not more important as what is being spoken. Audio descriptions provide this information for the visually impaired.


Transcripts provide a textual version of the content that can be accessed by anyone. They also allow the content of your multimedia to be searchable. Transcripts do not have to be verbatim accounts of the spoken word in a video. They often contain additional descriptions, explanations, or comments that may be beneficial. Transcripts allow deaf/blind users to get content through the use of refreshable Braille and other devices.

Best Practices:

  • Whenever possible, use videos that already include closed captioning.
  • Request transcripts from commercially produced shows or news casts.
  • Include your own speaker notes for narrated PowerPoints or provide them in addition to your podcasts.
  • If you must use a video or audio file that isn't captioned, contact the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) as soon as possible to arrange for transcription services.


Academic Technology Center | Building 77 Room 138| 11000 University Pkwy. | Pensacola, FL 32514 | (850) 474-2056 | 1.888.529.1823 | 850.474.2807 (Fax) | | Campus Map | Text Only