Instructional Media Captioning

The Service

The Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC), in partnership with Academic Technology (AT), provides captioned media to eligible students, staff, and faculty with documented disabilities. 

An instructor with a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (D/HH) student in their course will receive an email notification so they may request media captioning for their instructional materials.

Instructional materials include:

  • Online streaming content from web sites, such as YouTube.
  • Physical media, such as movies on VHS/DVD.
  • Instructor-created video lectures and home movies.
  • CourseStream and Elluminate courses.

Closed-captioning means that the captions may be toggled on and off, and open-captioning means that the captions stay on.

Securing copyright permissions and captioning the media are highly time-consuming processes. To ensure that appropriate accommodations are in place, we ask that instructors make their requests 4-6 weeks in advance.


An individual with a disability requesting captioned media for the first time must submit disability verification based on our Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Documentation Guidelines. Please visit our “Registering with the DPRC” page for more information on how to register with our office or to download our guidelines. Your eligibility for this accommodation is determined through the DPRC registration, disability verification, and initial appointment process with our Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Specialist

Requesting Media Captioning

Requests are typically from instructors with a D/HH student in their course. An “Instructional Media Captioning Request" must be completed online for each item requested. Show dates are extremely important. Tentative show dates are acceptable. Please let us know about any changes in the viewing schedule as soon as possible.

To caption a personal or departmental copy of media, it will need to be delivered to AT Media Distribution Services in Library 85

Once DPRC has finished creating a copy to work with, the requester will be notified via email, and the original media can be retrieved from Library 85.

Once a request has been processed, the requestor will receive an e-mail notification.  The captioned media can be received on a disc at Library 85. Special arrangements can be made for instructors who are using the DIVA system run by Academic Technology. 

The Disability Programs and Resource Center and Academic Technology process many captioning requests per semester.  Publishers can take up to 2 weeks to respond to a permissions request, and each minute of video takes two additional minutes of editing time.  We ask that requests are submitted at least 4-6 weeks before the anticipated show date.  It is the instructor’s responsibility to submit requests in a timely manner.  This gives us sufficient time to obtain copyright licenses and caption each item.  Note that captions and subtitles are not the same.  Captions contain dialogue and additional auditory information.

Instructors leveraging media in their courses are encouraged to use versions that are already captioned whenever possible.  One source, that is available exclusively to SFSU faculty, is the Academic Technology AV Catalog.  It contains over 18,000 titles.  If a requested item is not captioned, we will get it captioned.

Other Resources

There are multiple web sites where captioned media reside.  Please check the following sites to see if a captioned version of your media title is available.  Again, if the captioned version of your item is not available, we will caption it for you.

Finding Captioned Media:

Creating Captioned Media:

Legal Basis and Campus Policy

The Instructional Media Captioning service exists in part due to the passage of Assembly Bill 386 (Statutes of 2009, Chapter 239), Section 67302 and 67302.5 of the California State Education Code.

Contact Information

Media Captioning & Coordination

Accessible Media Program, DPRC

Student Classroom Accommodations

Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Services, DPRC

  • Phone: (415) 338-2472

Accessible Media Program Links