The Future is Now: Building a Comprehensive, Compliant, Affordable Captioning Service


Presented at 11:30am in Penrose 2 on Thursday, November 9, 2023.



  • Ann Fredricksen, Coordinator of Accessible Media Services, University of Illinois
  • Lawrence Angrave, Teaching Professor, University of Illinois
  • Liam Moran, Systems Specialist, University of Illinois

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


ADA compliance for video captioning is critical for institutions, to meet legal and customer service expectations. Some schools decide to fulfill captioning needs in-house, some outsource. One strategy is to use Automatic Speech Recognition engines and correct its output. Learn how institutions are harnessing ASR engines to build cost-effective, efficient, and ADA compliant captioning services, as well as research opportunities across disciplines to identify and employ best practices.


Remote learning has demonstrated importance of creating a video recording of lectures for students to use as reference material. However, this has increased the workload of DSOs in providing accommodations to the Deaf/Hard of Hearing population. To help offset this workload, universities can harness their research capabilities as well as implementing best practices for accessibility by combining resources from across campus. At the University of Illinois, staff from across campus, Computer Science, Center for Innovation, Teaching and Learning, as well as Disability Resources and Educational Services, are working together on how to utilize each of our abilities to create best practices and process experience for live and recorded events as well as perform research and evaluate ASR technology on a large scale. We are working on creating guidelines, recommendations, as well as demonstrating a working system in combination with guidelines that follow recommendations from broadcasting, Universal Design for Learning as well as ADA compliance.


  1. Recognize that human interaction is still needed to make ASR captions meet standards.
  2. Learn what you need to set up Whisper and what it means for Illinois Captions.
  3. Get an understanding of ASR limitations and strengths with live and recorded media and how to improve outputs.

Disability Areas

Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Administrative/Campus Policy, Captioning/Transcription, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning

Speaker Bio(s)

Ann Fredricksen

Ann Fredricksen has her BA in Physics from Carthage College and has her MS/LIS degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She has been working for Disability Resources and Educational Services in the Accessible Media Services Office since 2008. She now serves as the Coordinator of Accessible Media Services, which provides accessible learning material for courses being taught within the University’s system. In 2020 she was Awarded the Lorine Y. Cowan Award for Excellence in Access and Accommodations from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Ann has been focusing her career on media accessibility and not only is she the captioning expert on campus but is also responsible for responding to inquiries and information about audio description. She has created a captioning training course to serve as a resource for the University of Illinois’ faculty and staff on how to meet accessibility standards with free to low-cost software already available to this population.

Lawrence Angrave

Lawrence Angrave is a Teaching Professor at the Computer Science department of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His interests include digital accessibility, universal design for learning, and finding new ways to help all students succeed in on-campus and online learning environments.

Liam Moran

*First Name: Liam *Last Name: Moran Title: Systems Specialist *Company: University of Illinois Department: Center for Innovation Teaching and Learning *Address: 249 Armory Building 505 E. Armory Ave. *City: Champaign *State/Province: IL *Country: USA *Zip/Postal Code: 61820 *e-mail: *Phone Number: 1 217 265 0215 Web Address: *Bio: Liam Moran has been producing curricular and event media at the University of Illinois since 2000 and managing servers to process it since 2008. He has been working on media accessibility issues since 2005, starting with captions and moving on to user interface usability and audio description by 2007. He also covers the education vertical for Streaming Media magazine and