MENU

YouTube Captioning

The Law

Section 508
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was amended in 1998 to require Federal agencies to make electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. The accessibility of electronic content like video is also required in this amendment.
  • 1194.22 (B): Equivalent alternatives for any multimedia presentation shall be synchronized with the presentation.
  • 1194.24 (C): All training and informational video and multimedia productions which support the agency’s mission, regardless of format, that contain speech or other audio information necessary for the comprehension of the content, shall be open or closed captioned.
  • 1194.24 (E): Display or presentation of alternate text presentation or audio descriptions shall be user-selectable unless permanent.

Universal Design

Creating edited Closed Captioning for recorded lecture content in YouTube is beneficial for a variety of student populations, not just the hearing impaired.

  • Closed Captioning helps English as a Second Language (ESL) students follow along with their lecturer.
  • Students can search through captions to locate specific information for review.
  • Students studying in public places can more easily access the lecture content without headphones.
  • Reading lecture content may help some students retain information more easily.

Turn on Automatic Captions in YouTube

  1. Log-in to YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/ by selecting “Sign In” at the top, right-hand corner of the screen.
    The Sign In button in YouTube is located in the top, right-hand corner.
  2. Select your profile link at the top, right-hand corner of the screen to open the contextual menu.
    Find the YouTube Creator studio in the YouTube account contextual menu.
  3. Select “Creator Studio.”
  4. Select “Video Manager.”
    Select Video Manager in the Creator Studio. You can access videos or playlists there.
  5. Identify the video that you would like to add automatic captions to. Select the drop-down menu underneath the video’s title.
  6. Select “Subtitles/CC.”
    Add subtitles for each video in youtube with the Subtitles/CC option.
  7. To the right of the video, select the “Add new subtitles of CC” drop-down menu. Select the language you would like to use for captioning.
    Select Add new subtitles or CC menu to select a language.
  8. Return to the Video Manager. It will take a few minutes to process your automatic captions.
    • Note: Processing time depends on the length of the video. It may take a day or two for processing to be completed.
  9. After captions have been processed, you will see the captions listed on the “Subtitles/CC” page.
    After you have selected a language for captioning, you will see it underneath the "Add new subtitles or CC" button.

Edit Automatic Captions in YouTube

  1. Log-in to YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/ by selecting “Sign In” at the top, right-hand corner of the screen.
    The Sign In button in YouTube is located in the top, right-hand corner.
  2. Select your profile link at the top, right-hand corner of the screen to open the contextual menu.
    Find the YouTube Creator studio in the YouTube account contextual menu.
  3. Select “Creator Studio.”
  4. Select “Video Manager.”
    Select Video Manager in the Creator Studio. You can access videos or playlists there.
  5. Identify the video that you would like to add automatic captions to. Select the drop-down menu underneath the video’s title.
  6. Select “Subtitles/CC.”
    Add subtitles for each video in youtube with the Subtitles/CC option.
  7. On the right-hand side of the screen, you should see published automatic captions. To edit the captions, select the language you would like to edit.
    • Note: If your captions were automatically created in English, select “English (Automatic).”
      Select the button below "Add new subtitles or CC" that has your language.
  8. Select “Edit” in the top, left-hand corner.
    The edit captions button is available in the top, right-hand corner of the screen.
  9. To edit a caption or a timestamp, click on the caption. Type in any changes you need to make.
    Clicking on a caption to edit it opens the editing box.
  10. After you have completed your changes, select “Publish edits” in the top, right-hand corner.
    • Note: Edits will be saved in Drafts automatically. Drafts will not be seen by the public.
      Click the Publish Edit button to save changes.

YouTube Resources

YouTube Captioning Help

This helpful guide walks you through how to turn-on, edit, delete, and upload captions to a YouTube video.

UMKC Resources

Accessibility Open Lab

Do you have concerns or questions about accessibility? Do you need help making videos, Word Documents, PowerPoints, Excel Files, or PDFs accessible? Come join our Accessibility Open Lab! Bring your questions and inaccessible materials with you.

Download Instructions to Turn On Automatic Captions on YouTube Videos

Keep a copy of instructions to turn on automatic captions on YouTube Videos on your computer for easy reference!

Download Instructions to Edit Automatic Captions on YouTube Videos

Keep a copy of instructions to edit automatic captions on YouTube Videos on your computer for easy reference!

Legal and Outside Resources

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act

Learn about Section 508 and UMKC’s legal obligation to create and deliver accessible content.

WebAiM: Captions, Transcripts, and Audio Descriptions

Learn more about how to create properly captioned videos from WebAIM.

Amara: Caption, Subtitle, and Translate Video

Do you need to caption a YouTube video you do not own? Amara’s technology allows you to do this without violating copyright standards.