3 Tips for Finding a Budget for Captioning
Updated: June 3, 2019
Finding a budget for captioning doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are many creative solutions to ensure you can caption all or at least some of the content your university or organization produces.
From our webinars, we’ve narrowed down the best tips from experts in the educational field.
- Download our infographic: 3 Tips for Finding a Budget for Captioning
1. Create a captioning grant from student fees (part of tuition)
Please skip to 37:17
Captions benefit all students, so why not include a fee in their tuition?
At NC State they’ve created an Education Technology Fund (EFT). This fund is included in every student’s tuition. Through these funds, they typically acquire around $60,000 annually for captioning.
NC State uses these funds in two ways: for student requested captioning and for some proactive captioning. Their intent is to continue increasing proactive captioning spend, especially in high impact classes.
They’ve also developed an EFT Committee. The committee is responsible for allocating the EFT funds to captioning projects. Requests for funds must be run through the committee before they can be properly allocated.
One benefit of this committee is that they’ve been able to establish relationships with vendors, obtaining great standard rates for the university.
2. Find line items in other budgets that can be used for captioning
Have you ever thought about finding a captioning budget within other existing budgets?
For example, perhaps you have an educational technologies budget, and within that, you have a budget for educational supplies. Or maybe in your Communications department, you have a budget for digital services. Captioning is both a supply and a service. All departments will require captioning, therefore these funds, which are already set apart for departmental needs, can be used to fund captioning needs.
3. Pre-pay for the next year with leftover funds at the end of a fiscal year
Did you overestimate how much you’d be spending this fiscal year? No worries, you can use leftover funds for captioning!
Some captioning vendors, like 3Play, allow customers to have pre-paid funds in their accounts for captioning (like a credit). If you have leftover money from your budget, you can add that amount to your captioning account and pre-pay for next year’s captioning needs.
Why caption your videos?
With the predominance of video, it’s important to keep captioning efforts a priority.
In general, captioning has many benefits beyond creating greater accessibility and equality on the web.
For example, in a study by Oregan state, they found 98.6% of all students found captions helpful.
Many students use captions and transcripts to help them study and focus. For example, transcripts were most commonly repurposed as study guides. ESL students commented they found captions to be very helpful in understanding the material presented by instructors.
Once captions are made available, it opens up your videos to a whole new sea of viewers you may not have considered.
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