Create accessible screencasts

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A screencast is a specific type of video that is made by recording a computer screen. It usually includes audio narration that explains what is happening in the screen recording.

Creating accessible screencasts allows all audiences to make use of the video content, including individuals who have visual and/or hearing impairments. Using closed captions, descriptive audio, and well-structured scripts can help all viewers effectively use a screencast.

Workflow for creating accessible videos and screencasts

The following steps outline a workflow for making accessible screencasts. The steps are applicable for creating various types of videos.

Step 1: Plan out video content

Using an outline

When starting the process of creating a screencast video, the best way to begin is by outlining the concepts or process you want to cover in the video. This will help guide development of the video, and give you a starting point for creating the video's script.

Using a script

Creating a script for a video is an important part of ensuring accessibility for a video. A script can be used in the final closed captioning process to help ensure accuracy of captions. Additionally, if the script is well-written, it can help reduce the need for additional descriptive audio. When writing the script, make sure to be descriptive - include the names and locations of interface elements. For example, when instructing someone to click a button, the script might say "Click the OK button at the bottom right corner of the window", instead of "Click OK".

Using a storyboard

An optional part of the video planning process is creating a storyboard. A storyboard can help further organize the video's contents, as well as assist in determining what should be on screen when specific parts of the script are being read. A storyboard isn't essential for every video, however, and may not be useful in some cases, depending on the type of video being created.

Step 2: Record and edit the screencast

The next step involves recording the screencast using the script and storyboard (if you made one) as a guide. There are two possible methods for recording a screencast: 1) you can record the screen and narration at the same time, or 2) you can record each separately and combine the audio and video tracks during the editing process.

When recording narration for a video, don't read through the script too quickly. Instead, keep a moderate and steady pace to ensure that viewers don't miss any of the content.

At IU, you can use Kaltura Personal Capture to record screencasts. To learn more about how to install and use Kaltura Personal Capture, see:

Once the screencast is recorded, you should edit it to remove any errors or issues with the recording. If you're using Kaltura Personal Capture to record a screencast, you can edit the video with Kaltura's video editor; for a demonstration, see Editing Videos Using the Kaltura Video Editor (video).

Step 3: Create closed captions, transcripts, and audio descriptions

Once the video is created and exported, next you will need to create captions, transcripts, and audio descriptions. For definitions of each of these, see Glossary.

This step is the part of the process when it will be extremely beneficial if you were already working with a detailed script as part of your planning process.

Closed captioning

At IU, Kaltura automatically generates closed captions for media uploaded to the Kaltura site. Automatic (or mechanical) captions are typically low quality, and will need to be edited for accuracy. The script you created at the beginning of the video development process will aid in the caption editing process, as you can replace the text of the mechanical captions with text from the script. For more, see Edit captions.

Some video editing programs, such as Premiere Pro, offer the ability to create and edit captions as part of the video editing process. You can use the video's script to create closed captions, as you can paste the script's text into a caption editor. Once you have created the captions, you should export as an SRT file to allow for uploading to services like Kaltura. For more, see Working with captions.


You can use the script created at the beginning of the video development process to create a transcript. A simple transcript includes speech and any non-speech audio information, while more thorough transcripts also include visual information. At IU, Kaltura will generate a basic video transcript based on the closed caption files associated with a video. This is accessible in the video player in Kaltura.

Audio descriptions

Audio descriptions are needed for videos that have visual information on screen that is not included in the accompanying audio. While a descriptive script can reduce the need for audio descriptions, there may still be parts of a video that need audio description to help people who are blind or visually impaired access content within a video. For more, see Audio descriptions.

While there are media players available that allow for switching audio descriptions on and off for a specific video, Kaltura at IU does not currently have that feature. When creating audio descriptions for videos uploaded to Kaltura, you'll need to have a separate version of the video that contains the descriptions. The descriptive audio version of the video can then be linked to in the original video's description, or included as a link on a webpage where the video is embedded.

Step 4: Publish the completed video

Once all the accessibility features of a video are complete, you can publish the video. This involves uploading it to a video-hosting service (such as YouTube or Kaltura at IU), adding captions, and adding a transcript.

After publishing, it is a good idea to double-check and ensure:

  • The closed captions are correct and time-synced appropriately
  • The transcript is accurate
  • If available, the audio description version of the video is linked in the video's description and is also accurate


This is document bfkz in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2020-04-01 13:40:52.

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