Captioned Media: Developing a Systematic Approach that Meets the Needs of Your Institution

Handouts Media

Presented at 1:30pm in Meadowbrook I on Tuesday, November 13, 2018.



  • Stephanie Zito, Technical Assistance Specialist, National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC)
  • Dave Litman, Technical Assistance Specialist, National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC)

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 3-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: Pre-conference


The National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes’ mission is to reduce barriers to postsecondary education and support institutions in creating accessible environments. During this workshop, presenters will provide an overview of captioned media models as well as strategies to streamline the process.


“Designing Accessible Environments” is one of five key impact areas identified by NDC in a literature review on practices that address root causes of challenges to deaf* individuals’ postsecondary attainment. Accessible postsecondary environments are critical for deaf students’ learning and growth but often are challenging to design and implement (NDC, 2017). Recently, captioned media has become a topic of focus for higher education institutions due to the increased technology demands including archived lecture videos, pre-recorded lectures for online courses, and online media content used in the classroom. Recent litigation has emphasized institutions have a responsibility to both the campus community and the general public in regards to video accessibility. This presentation will focus on various models of campus captioning policies and strategies to streamline the process.


  1. Describe the differences between closed captions, open captions, subtitles, and other accessible media feature
  2. Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of establishing an in-house captioning program vs. third-party captio
  3. Compare various scenarios with policies and procedures to identify gaps or challenges with existing protocol.

Disability Areas

Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy, Legal, Uncategorized, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Stephanie Zito

Stephanie Zito, MS, NIC, is a technical assistance specialist with the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes. Her background is in sign language interpreting and she is also a trained C-Print captionists. After studying interpreting at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she went on to pursue her master’s degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management. Prior to joining the NDC team, Stephanie primarily worked as an interpreter and captionist in postsecondary settings but also worked in community and VRS settings. Stephanie has also devoted her time to work with local, state, and national nonprofit organizations. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Interpreters in Education (NAIE).

Dave Litman

Dave Litman, MSW, is a technical assistance specialist with the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC). Dave strives to embrace the diversity of deafness in his work with stakeholders. He values the individual experiences that people have had, not just in terms of hearing loss but overall life experiences. Embracing that diversity of experience is a cornerstone of his work and personal life. Dave grew up with normal hearing until the age of 24 when he was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2). Over the course of two years, he had two surgeries to remove growths on his auditory nerve. The end result of this was that both nerves were completely severed and deafness was the result. This experience started Dave on his journey into hearing loss. In 1998, he went back to school as a late deafened adult and majored in child psychology and Deaf Studies from the University of Minnesota. He then graduated from Gallaudet University with a Master’s in Social Work. Over the last 15 years, Dave has applied his professional and personal knowledge working with deaf students (of all modalities), parents, and professionals with the goal of every deaf child having the opportunities to become a successful deaf adult.