Closed Captioning

As a community college, we are mandated by Section 508, to provide our students who are hard of hearing or deaf, equal access to all video material. To that end, since 2001, it has been the policy at Berkeley City College to purchase only captioned videos. In addition, videos in the library collection purchased before 2001, are being replaced.


Faculty Concerns

A clarification regarding Section 508 compliance was provided by Ralph Black, former Assistant General Counsel to the State Chancellor of Community Colleges.

  • All videos purchased since January 1st, 2001 must be captioned; 
  • Since June 1, 2004, any video purchased that is not captioned must be captioned before it is shown in a classroom, whether there is a deaf student attending the class or not.

Instructors should continue to buy only captioned videos. If they are not available, a vendor is listed below. Because the cost of captioning can be prohibitive, we recommend purchasing a new video when available, if the older video is not captioned. If you choose to caption an older film, you must secure the permission of the distributor before captioning, to protect the copyright.


Compliance with Section 508 also means, if your personal website contains video material with audio, it must also be captioned. If your distance education classes use video material, it must be captioned. Please keep in mind, though interpreters are provided for our students with hearing disabilities, they are no substitute for captioned videos. Your help in providing this service for the hard of hearing is greatly appreciated by the students and the staff of DSPS and we welcome your questions and concerns. Listed below is faculty outreach provided about closed captioning.


Vendor for Captioning Videos


Berkeley City College works with different vendors including RapidText and Automatic Sync Technologies to produce captioned videos. Cost will vary depending on the availability of a written transcript or whether the vendor will first need to produce a transcript.

Thanks to a California Community College system-wide grant, videos that are part of a course that has a distance education component to them can qualify for captioning at no cost to the college. Both vendors are certified DECT vendors and can assist with the application process. You may contact the Office of Alternate Media at Berkeley City College for more details on turn-around times, etc.


For more information, contact:

Roberto Gonzalez, Alternate Media Specialist    510-981-2826