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Q. I found an online video that lacks captions

A video I want to view in Alexander Street, Kanopy, Naxos, or another library database doesn't have captions or subtitles. 

Answered By: Beth Juhl
Last Updated: Sep 14, 2020     Views: 842

The Libraries offer online video from several streaming services, including:

Below are the accessibility options for each vendor with contact information if a video is lacking appropriate captioning. 

Please do contact us at if you need help with using our videos or if you would like for us to work with a vendor on your behalf. 

Alexander Street's Academic Video Online (VAST)

All AVON videos have transcripts and more than 80% also include on-screen subtitles (not including archival material such as Dutch newsreels, silent film, and primary footage).


The transcript is synchronized with the video and will highlight text spoken as the video plays. It will also by default scroll along with the video. To turn off this feature, simply move your mouse into the transcript area and your mouse movements will override the normal scrolling. At any time, you may also click a section within the transcript to skip forward or back within the corresponding video.


Some performing arts videos have multilingual subtitles that can be selected by clicking the CC icon in the toolbar beneath the player window. Where only one language is available, clicking this icon will turn the subtitles on or off. Where multiple languages are available, clicking this icon will bring up a menu of available languages. Outside of the performing arts collections, most non-English videos include embedded English subtitles, which cannot be turned off.

Requesting Transcripts

  • To ensure 508 compliance, any user (including those without disabilities) can request a title, and it will be transcribed, on average, within 30 days. Submit a support ticket.
  • Any title from the archive with more than 50 views is automatically prioritized to be transcribed, of which 98% of these titles are. The remaining titles are prioritized accordingly. 

Useful Links

Ambrose Video / BBC Shakespeare


All videos are closed captioned and the captions are searchable.

Useful Links



The "vast majority" of films on Kanopy have captions. Users can easily activate the captions via a small "CC" button on the video player.  More on captions.

A small subset of recent films may not yet have captions.  Look for the "cc" icon with a strike-through: click the icon to place a "captions request."

Kanopy will rush process the captions within 48 hours free of charge and notify you once they are live.

Create a personal profile on Kanopy to set captions to be on by default. 


Kanopy also provides transcripts for most films. A "Transcript" button appears under the "More" tab below any film once it starts playing.

Useful Links

Met Opera on Demand Student Access


All Met Opera on Demand videos offer English subtitles. Also, the most recent HD video additions to the Met Opera on Demand catalog offer subtitles in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and/or Swedish as well. Click on the Subtitles menu to choose from the available subtitles, or to turn off subtitles.

Naxos Video Library

Subtitles and Libretti

Subtitles and libretti are available in 5 languages but not all languages are available for every video.  You can choose subtitles in one language and libretto in another. 

Because Naxos Video Library consists primarily of opera and musical performances, in some cases subtitles are not available due to performance restrictions or the musical content of the performance. According to Naxos, as of November 2017 approximately 75% of non-music-only videos currently offer subtitles and they are working to add subtitles to the remaining 25%.