The University should make subtitles mandatory for pre-recorded content

Passed: November 2020 (24th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it?

With the vast majority of University teaching being done online, it's more important than ever to make sure that digital content is accessible. As a deaf student, I rely on captions in my general online life. While most of my modules use subtitles on their pre-recorded lectures, there are some cases where subtitles are not used. Not only does this mean that I have to work harder to understand and concentrate on the content, but the disparity and inconsistency across modules is frustrating, and stress-inducing at times.

The impact of this is worsened when lecturers only do a voiceover for their lecture, instead of filming themselves, as the possibility to try and lipread isn't available. By making subtitles mandatory (which are usually done automatically), deaf students like myself can keep up as easily as hearing students and not undergo the additional stress that hearing students don't have to go through of not knowing what to expect from each module, accessibility-wise. Furthermore, many hearing people use subtitles to aid comprehension, as well as students whose native language is not English. This simple policy change would ensure that the University is equally considering the learning of a whole additional cohort of students, and would support students from a range of backgrounds during the move into digital learning.

Expires: November 2023 (24th)

Submitted By: Ana-Sofia Velasco

Officer: Education / Equality & Diversity

Area of Work: Access to Education


November 2020: New Policy