Captioning Services for Departments

The University of Illinois CAM includes the Policy on Multimedia Accessibility. Please take a moment to read the policy and feel free to share with us any questions you may have. Accessible Media Services (AMS) is available to assist you with video captioning.

How do I get media captioned by AMS?

  • Check to see if the library owns a copy of the video already captioned. AMS will not caption a video that the library already has available with captioning.
  • If the library owns the video, but it is not captioned, let us know and we will have the library send it to us for captioning. Then you would check it out from the library as usual.
  • If the library does not have a copy of the video, fill out a Department Captioning Request form.
  • You will be contacted to confirm that we received your request.
  • Non-student AMS rates can be found on the DRES Billing (Non-Student) page.

AMS processes materials for DRES-students first, and then we will work on non-DRES-student material. We will process this material on a first come, first serve basis. If you would like to know an approximate turnaround time, please contact Ann Fredricksen at dres-accessible-media@illinois.edu.

What about copyright?

  • For non-DRES-student material, AMS is not responsible for gaining copyright approval to caption the material. If you submit a video by using this form, you are agreeing that either you, your department, or the University owns copyright or you have obtained permission for us to caption and digitize your material.
  • For assistance and information in requesting and obtaining copyright you may contact AMS or review the University's copyright policy.
  • If your video was taped from your television, we cannot caption it due to copyright infringement. If the video was not in the library, you should request that the library purchase the video [cmsacquisitions@library.illinois.edu] then if it is captioned you can check it out, or it can be sent to AMS for captioning.
  • If you personally own the video and you would like us to caption the video, assuming it does not fall under any of the above scenarios, and you purchased the video with a public performance/education license, then we can caption the video once you obtain permission from the copyright holder. Please look at the video and casing for copyright information and contact the copyright holder. A sample email request for DVD/VHS media or for online links are attached.

Please be aware that copyright approval must obtain from the copyright holders before we can caption the video. This can take 6-8 weeks, so keep this in mind when you are considering videos to be shown. We use standards put forth in the DCMP’s Captioning Key.

If you created the video yourself, and you used commercial material, including music, copyright approval has to be obtained for these as well, unless the material falls under Fair Use.  Staff members in the AMS office are not lawyers and cannot give legal advice on whether or not something falls under fair use but you can use the Fair Use Evaluator  hosted by the American Library Association or contact Legal Counsel.

What does it cost to have something captioned?

DRES will bill on a quarterly basis on what media has been completely processed. The rate for captioning is currently $2.90 per minute of video with a minimum charge per video of $15.00. If you provide us with a 'good' transcript, the cost is $1.50 per minute of video. DRES will begin charging starting January 1, 2015. The first bill will be submitted at the end of the first quarter.

You may outsource your material to be captioned by an outside company. There are many companies out there and DRES does not endorse or suggest one vendor over another. We do have a list of questions that we think you should ask and consider in purchasing quality captions. The list can be found here.

Can I caption my own videos?

You may also caption your own videos. You may schedule an appointment with our office and we would be happy to talk you through your options.