Creating Accessible Panopto Videos

To comply with Pitt’s new EIT Accessibility Policy, HSLS strives to create digital instructional materials that are accessible to all users. As part of this effort, HSLS instructors have adapted their methods when teaching via Zoom to ensure that all virtual learners can attend and participate in live HSLS classes. HSLS has also made accessibility improvements to recorded instructional videos hosted on Panopto (also known as Pitt Video/Lecture Capture). If you create and share Panopto videos, try implementing the following practices used by HSLS to create a more inclusive learning environment:

  • Ensure the video is properly captioned. Closed captions make your video accessible to the hearing-impaired community and can also improve the viewing experience for all users.
  • Any PDFs that you include in your video stream should be formatted as fully accessible files. You should also verbally introduce the PDF so that visually impaired users know that the file is available.

  • When embedding web pages into your video stream, your video narration should first state that the video will pause when the web page appears. You should also instruct viewers to press “play” when they are done previewing the page. This will keep visually impaired users in the loop and prevent confusion about the automatic pause in video playback.
  • Similarly, if you embed a YouTube video in your video stream, make sure you verbally introduce the video and enable the “auto play” feature for the YouTube video.
  • Quizzes are a useful Panopto feature but they can present some challenges for visually impaired learners. If you’re including a quiz in your video, you should verbally introduce the quiz and instruct users to press “Continue” when they are done with the quiz. You should also avoid enabling the “block advancing in the video until done answering this quiz” option in case accessibility issues arise with the quiz.

In addition to these standard practices, HSLS also offers individualized accommodations to class registrants.

To learn more about the EIT Policy and how you can implement accessibility improvements in your own work, visit the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion’s page on digital accessibility. The University Center for Teaching and Learning also provides informative resources on educational equity and accessibility. Please contact the HSLS Technology Help Desk with questions regarding accommodations for HSLS classes and Falk Library’s efforts to provide accessible digital materials.

~Julia Reese