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Increasingly, universities across the country are facing legal challenges based on user complaints about inaccessible websites, instructional materials, products, and services.

CSU campuses are required by policy and law to ensure that their websites, instructional materials and electronic and information technology products and services are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Many of these resources, e.g., multimedia and video, require captioning to be considered accessible. This document is intended to provide general guidance for addressing your campus’s captioning efforts and point you towards resources that may be helpful.

The CSU Captioning Guidelines was developed as a collaborative effort among five CSU campuses and the Chancellor's Office as part of a system-wide effort to create a set of guidelines that could be adopted or adapted by any one of the 23 CSU campuses.

Captioning Benefits

The benefits of using captioning to improve student comprehension, engagement, and performance have been proven in a multitude of studies. In a study conducted by San Francisco State University in 2007 students received instructional materials where 50% of the students received captioned materials. Students who were given instructional video materials with captions, were found to be more engaged and responsive to questions, were better able to relate the information to their everyday lives, and demonstrated an improvement of one full grade point versus those students who were not exposed to captions.   

In addition, an internal study conducted by Plymedia showed that captioned videos were viewed 38% longer than videos without captions.

Oregon State University Ecampus study through the collaboration of wcet showing the results of the study: do closed captions help students learn.

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