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Portland Community College

As Alternative Media Specialist at Portland Community College, Haris Gunadi analyzes course media for accessibility compliance and researches new processes and technologies. PCC uses 3Play Media as their closed captioning and transcription provider.

Portland Community College Accessibility Policies

PCC has approximately 90,000 students across 4 campuses, as well as an “e-Campus” for online learning. In the 2013-2014 school year, PCC had 1,476 students requesting accessibility accommodation. Of those, 69 requested Communication Access for services in 387 classes, and 46 specifically requested Captioned Media across 287 classes. Haris Gunadi’s staff works with professors to help make their classes accessible, which includes captioning video and audio content for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

In the 2013-2014 school year, PCC had about 120 hours worth of video to caption. This content spanned many different platforms, including DVDs, online videos, Camtasia videos, internal videos, and podcasts. At the e-Campus, PCC is implementing a program to make sure that every course is made accessible, which means that all video content will have to be captioned moving forward. At the 4 physical campuses, video content is captioned by request.

Strategies for Engaging Faculty and Addressing Accessibility Issues

While Disability Services’ goal is for instructors to submit a list of video captioning requests with due dates and sources before the semester starts, that rarely happens. They’ve found that at the beginning of a course, 50% of PCC professors do not know what videos they will show in class. Haris believes that professors often have common misconceptions about captioning; they feel like Disability Services can’t handle last minute requests, or that captioning will require a lot of effort. He has found that the more he can simplify the process for professors, the more they will send in their video requests in a timely manner. Developing a relationship with 3Play Media has simplified the process immensely, and further allows Haris more time to reach out to professors.

Haris now tells professors to simply send him the video that they want to show, and he will do the rest. As long as he receives the video 24 hours before the class, he can submit the video to 3Play and get the captions back in time for the class. Once professors realize that the process is not burdensome, Haris finds that they come to appreciate captions. In fact, PCC is finding that many instructors now want Disability Services to caption all videos they show in class, even if there is no request. While captioning videos that are requested is always the priority, Haris and his team try to accommodate any video content that professors want captioned, as long as it is content that will be used for multiple terms.

Portland Community College Partners with 3Play Media for Captioning and Transcription

Before partnering with 3Play Media for captioning and transcription services, PCC was facing a number of challenges trying to caption video content in-house. With a small staff, it was difficult to caption content in time, particularly when many professors provided videos only a day or two before a class. It took about 5 times the duration of a video to transcribe it, which was not scalable for their small staff. Further, there was no time to devote to streamlining Disability Services’ relationship with instructors, which only deterred instructors from captioning.

PCC decided to begin using a third party captioning vendor, and found that many of their challenges were solved by working with 3Play Media. Disability Services was able to put more resources towards working directly with instructors to compile video lists. They discovered that the more they were in touch with instructors, the more they were able to get videos in a timely manner. And, they were excited to implement 3Play Media’s interactive transcripts, which allow students to search within a video to filter for relevant content. Students can also print and download transcripts.

Portland Community College Captioning and Transcription Workflow

Haris described PCC’s captioning and transcription workflow as such:

  1. Students submit captioning, interpreting, and transcription requests.
  2. Instructors are contacted before the term starts, as well as consistently throughout the semester, to compile lists of videos for captioning.
  3. Accessibility aides search for existing transcripts or captioned versions of the video.
  4. If no transcript exists, they will download the video (if online) or transfer DVD/VHS content to digital format, then upload the video to Kaltura so all of their course videos are on one platform.
  5. From Kaltura, they submit the video to 3Play Media for captioning and transcription. Usually this process takes 2-3 days, but they can select same day service for last minute content.
  6. Disability Services sends the instructor a link to the video while closed captioning is being processed, so they can include it in their presentation in advance.
  7. Disability Services adds interactive transcripts to videos once captioning is completed.

Haris has found that using a third party captioning vendor makes life much easier both for Disability Services staff and for instructors. He is also very pleased with 3Play Media’s interactive transcripts, which make PCC’s videos even more engaging and accessible to all students.

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