The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law in 1990, protects disabled persons from discrimination through barriers to communication. The use of captioned media breaks down these barriers and equalizes communication access.As part of Universal Design on Instruction, the use of captioned media provides many benefits to diverse populations.
A common comment on showing captioned media when only a few persons in the classroom/auditorium/room have a disability is that the open captions are a distraction to the rest of the audience or the open captions interfere with the visual aspect of the media. Most persons adapt very easily to the captions and find that they use the captions to supplement the audio when they miss some dialogue due to poor sound quality/acoustics or due to environmental noises. Additionally, research shows that, contrary to the supposition that captions are distracting and interfere with learning, there is no significant difference in test scores between hearing groups who viewed captioned and those who viewed non-captioned media.
All videos/media that are purchased or developed by the college or by a department should be open or closed-captioned. The open-captioned format is recommended as the captions on open-captioned media are always displayed and no special equipment or setting is needed. Closed-captioned media require special equipment or menu setting to display the captions. Please indicate the need for a captioned version on all video/media orders.
The following guidelines are intended to help ascertain whether your existing media is already captioned and what steps can be taken to caption existing media that is not captioned. Determining if existing media is captioned:
Bergen Community College
400 Paramus Road
Paramus, NJ 07652