Accessible Media

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The Assistive Technology Initiative facilitates Captioning and Audio Description service provided free of charge to Mason faculty and staff to ensure media used in the classroom and/or online are accessible to individuals with sensory impairments, learning/cognitive challenges, or who speak English as a second language.

Accessible Media Services


The Media Access Group at WGBH defines captions as…spoken dialogue as printed words on the television screen. Captions are specifically designed for viewers who are deaf and hard of hearing. However, they allow anyone to follow along through carefully placed words that identify speakers, on and off-screen sound effects, music, and laughter.

Captions should be Synchronized and Accurate – text content should appear at approximately the same time that audio would be available, equivalent to the spoken word and available as needed.

Applicable Standards:(*WCAG Standard 1.2.1, 1.2.4)


Transcripts allow users who are deaf/blind to access content using a refreshable Braille display and other devices. They should include additional descriptions or explanations such as indications of laughter or other non-speech audio. For most web video, both captions and transcripts should be provided.  A transcript (.txt format) along with each video requested.

Sample Transcript (TXT)

Applicable Standards: (*WCAG Standard 1.2.3)

Audio Description

According to the *American Council of the Blind, audio description involves: “the accessibility of the visual images of theater, television, movies, and other art forms for people who are blind, have low vision, or who are otherwise visually impaired. It is commentary and narration, which guides the listener through the presentation with concise, objective descriptions of new scenes, settings, costumes, body language, and “sight gags,” all slipped in between portions of dialogue or songs.”  (i.e. users who are blind should be able to understand what is happening in the video without being able to see it)

*Sample of Audio Description

Applicable Standards: (*WCAG Standard 1.2.3)

Visit our Request Services webpage to submit a request for captions, transcripts, and/or audio description.  See our Responsibilities and Procedures webpage for information on faculty/staff responsibilities when requesting services for media content.