The Captioning Project

A centrally funded project to encourage the provision of accurate captions and transcripts for recorded academic course content.

The benefits of captions are many. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A requirement for members of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community to engage with audio/video events and materials.
  • Offer clarity when speakers are difficult to understand.
  • Help students with a greater understanding of content through increased focus and retention of content.
  • Provide for better comprehension of content for students whose native language is not English.

While the benefits are clear, captions must be as accurate as possible for those relying on them to take advantage of the service provided.

Many of our tools offer options for captioning through automatic speech recognition (ASR) technologies - for both live events and the recording of these events. While our tools (e.g., Zoom, Panopto, Kaltura) make this option relatively easy to offer, the accuracy of this automated content is usually insufficient for a clear understanding of what is being said or provide the intended context of the event. To achieve the level of accuracy needed, human intervention is required to review and edit the resulting transcript/caption files.

The Captioning Project

Understanding the demands on an instructor's time, coupled with limited experience or support in the production of captions, this project seeks to remove barriers associated with creating accurate captions for pre-recorded audio/video events and materials used within an academic course.

To accomplish this, the University has provided a defined amount of funding - along with a coordinated management approach - to encourage the use of approved captioning vendors (3Play Media and Verbit) to produce transcripts and captions with a minimum of 99% accuracy. The team leading this project includes:

  • Lori Kressin; Coordinator of Academic Accessibility (Project Lead)
  • Barbara Zunder; Director, Student Disability Access Center
  • Matthew Burgess; Assistant Director of Learning Technology Initiatives
  • Kristin Roush; Coordinator of Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Accessible Media Services

Captioning Coordinators

Essential to the success of this project are the Captioning Coordinators. Each college/school and key support units have designated one person to be the primary point of contact for project-related efforts. For information on how to take advantage of this opportunity, contact the Captioning Coordinator for your area or send an email to captioning@virginia.edu:

  • Gary Peters / Darden School of Business
  • Taylore Pence / McIntire School of Commerce
  • Eric Field / School of Architecture
  • Kevin Lucey / School of Continuing and Professional Studies
  • Taeho Yu / School of Data Science
  • Kimberly Bavis / School of Education and Human Development
  • Kevin Sullivan / School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • Kevin Tressler / School of Nursing
  • Starrie Williamson / Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
  • Yitna Firdyiwek / Learning Design & Technology – College of Arts & Sciences
  • Tiffany Stull / UVACollab
  • Melinda Baumann & Leigh Rockey / UVA Libraries
  • Whitney Wells/ UVA Wise
  • TBD – School of Law
  • TBD – School of Medicine

For more information about The Captioning Project or captioning in general, send an email to captioning@virginia.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions