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Introduction & Overview

Types of Captioning

Be clear about what type(s) of captioning is needed and ask questions about each. Four basic categories are:

  • Human captions for recorded video
  • Human captions for live video
  • Auto-captions for recorded video
  • Auto-captions for live video

Platform Issues

Understand how captions integrate with your video conferencing platform

  • Consider all platforms on which the video will appear (including YouTube, corporate intranet, etc.)
  • Does each platform offer built-in auto-captions? (i.e. Teams / Google Meet)
  • Does each platform require / allow for external captions? (human or auto)
  • If video is being recorded and then posted, do the captions from a live (virtual) event travel with the saved video? (If not, transcript or second set of captions needed for posted recorded video)
  • Disability:IN resource: Purchasing and Licensing Accessible Video Conferencing Platforms that Work for Everyone

Caption Quality Issues

Accessibility Issues

  • Ensure that platform, integration systems, caption controls and profile settings, etc. are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities who may be
    • Relying on captions
    • Arranging, setting up, or trouble shooting captioning for the organization
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines relating to captioning (note: other success criteria apply to the platforms, video controls, etc.)

Logistics Issues

  • Turn-around time for captions / transcripts on recorded video
  • Hours of operation for emergency services / tech support / help desk
  • Details for uploading files for captioning / transcription (See 3Play Media RFP questions below related to online account systems and process and deliverables.)
  • Ability to correct captions/transcripts

Additional Resources

Suggested RFP Questions (focus on human captions for recorded video)

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  • Company background and qualifications.
  • Experience providing the services requested in the RFP.

Process and Deliverables

  • Describe the methods you support for submitting media files for transcription/captioning.
  • Describe the output formats you provide for transcripts and caption/subtitle files.
  • Describe your turnaround options and SLA.
  • Ability to create captions by synchronizing an existing transcript with the video.
  • Ability to output a video with encoded captions or open captions.
  • Interactive transcript that is compatible with multiple video players and LMS systems.
  • Ability to caption YouTube videos owned by a third party.


  • Transcripts and captions must be at least 99% accurate. Describe your accuracy guaranty.
  • Explain how you measure accuracy.
  • Expertise transcribing technical and academic content. Describe tools and processes to address this.
  • Speakers should be clearly identified.
  • Must include sound effects and non-speech elements.
  • A single transcriptionist must work on a file from beginning to end. Files should not be split up and worked on by numerous transcriptionists. Please explain your process.
  • What countries or geographic region does your work take place in? Please provide percentages of work completed by country/region. Do you have the ability to exclude certain countries or regions from an engagement?

Online Account System

  • Allows for delivery of transcripts and caption files.
  • Upload approval: allows an authorized person to approve files before processing begins.
  • Provides notifications of completed files.
  • Stores all past work.
  • Allows for a technical vocabulary with product names, people, or special instructions to be submitted for each file or a group of files.
  • Ability to cancel files that were submitted erroneously.
  • Detects if duplicate files were submitted by mistake.
  • Provides the ability to preview captions on a video.
  • Allows admin users to make edits to captions or the transcript.
  • Allows the caption frame to be configured (e.g. number of lines, max characters per line, minimum display duration, and max characters per second). Supports multiple users and access control.
  • Allows multiple departments to compartmentalize content, users, and billing.
  • Provides usage reports of all account activity.
  • Allows non-admins to make edits to captions/transcripts in a secure manner without logging in?


  • Line item detail for each submitted file.
  • Access to past invoices and payment status.
  • Ability to aggregate invoices across multiple departments.


  • Describe your integrations with video platforms.
  • Describe your integrations with cloud storage systems.
  • Describe your Application Programming Interface (API).


  • Price for creating captions and transcripts for different turnarounds.
  • Price for creating a caption file from an existing transcript.
  • Minimum charges for any services.
  • Additional charges for speaker identification.
  • Bulk discounts.

Other Features

  • Audio description.
  • Languages supported for captioning/transcription.
  • Translation to other languages.
  • Live captioning.
  • Customer support, including phone support and a ticketing system.
  • Knowledge center with support articles and video tutorials.
  • Caption placement service that adjusts the position of captions to avoid obstructing existing onscreen text.