The University of Iowa

Captions fall into two categories: 

Human captions

  • Typed out or reviewed by a person that listens to the audio to ensure that the content of the caption file is a good representation of the audio
  • Several companies offer human captioning for a fee that will depend on turnaround time at up to 99% accuracy
  • They can be expensive and take time to produce

Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) captions:

As of spring 2022, the Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) caption provider is being turned on. While the default folder state is not changing, individuals will now be able to see this option and enable the caption provider for their folders/media.

  • Generated by a program with no individual review between when they are generated and when they are available to you
  • Generally between 70-95% accurate depending on the service used and the quality of the audio
  • The ITAccessibilty@Iowa group recommends reviewing and editing ASR captions before they are available to viewers
  • Not suitable for SDS Accommodations

Screenshot of Captions options section


ITAccessibility@Iowa has a great guide on the how and why aspects of captioning. You can read more about that on their website. The content below will focus mainly on the tools that we have available and where they can be used.

In this article:

  1. Asynchronous Content
  2. Synchronous Content
  3. SDS Accommodations

Asynchronous Content


  • Lecture videos
  • Course updates
  • Video quizzes
  • Video clips that are shown in your live lectures

Materials that are produced for asynchronous consumption can be quickly and easily captioned in UICapture. For everything that is uploaded to UICapture, ASR captions are produced. Once they are ready, you need to enable them for each video you want to display them on. This is because there is no person reviewing the content between when they are produced and when they are made available to you (as the content owner). You can follow this guide to enable ASR captions on your videos/audio in UICapture.

Once a session has captions in UICapture, it can be quickly and easily shared in your ICON course or otherwise. To share content in ICON, this guide will provide some great first steps. Below you will find a few guides from Panopto on sharing. They will be a great starting point when sharing content outside of ICON:

Return to the top

Synchronous Content


  • Live, remote lectures
  • Course meetings
  • Department meetings
  • "Town Hall" meetings

For content presented synchronously, when needed, 3rd party caption providers can be brought into Zoom meetings to provide CART services. Read more about adding captions to your synchronous meetings on the ITS website.

Return to the top

SDS Accommodations

If you have a need for SDS accommodations, the SDS office can provide CART services for meetings held in Zoom. For asynchronous content, we can now automate the process of adding human captions to content that is stored in/uploaded to UICapture. To learn more about the services that SDS can provide in this context, please visit their site linked above.

Return to the top