Frequently Asked Questions about Accessibility

What websites or content are covered by the Policy?

All websites, content, and functionality (including all-University, school/department, administrative unit). This includes all content and functionality for all of the University's programs, services or activities, including all subordinate pages and intranet pages and sites; and, all content and functionality developed by, maintained by, or offered through a third party vendor or open source through which the University (or one of its schools, global sites, portal campuses, or library) provides its programs, services or activities. This does not include sites that are independent of the University (including sites that are linked to from the NYU Website) and do not provide University programs, services or activities.

What is "Content"?

Content should be construed broadly to include anything on the NYU Websites including, but not limited to, audio, video, images, tables, forms, documents (in any format, including .docx and .pdf), and html.

When do websites and content need to be compliant with the Policy?

Starting 8/1/2018, all new content and functionality created, published, or substantially changed must be compliant.

Pre-existing Content & Functionality that was created, published, or substantially changed between 1/1/2015 and 8/1/2018 must be compliant, unless doing so would cause a Fundamental Alteration or create an Undue Burden, in which case access shall be provided via means of Equally Effective Alternative Access.

Legacy Content & Functionality that was created or published prior to 1/1/2015 and Archived Content (content no longer in regular use but not yet removed from public access or maintained subject to records retention policy) may be made compliant upon request.

What about social media?

NYU social media pages should use accessible content. Read about how to make social media accessible.  

How do I know if my website is compliant?

Read more about evaluating website accessibility.

How do I convert documents (e.g. PPT, PDF, DOC, TXT) so they are accessible?  

SensusAccess is a self-service solution that automates the conversion of documents into a range of alternative formats. The service may be used to convert otherwise inaccessible documents such as image-only pdf files or scanned images into more accessible formats.

Note: This service is not intended to make public-facing content accessible. It is best used for personal, or course-related materials. For example, internal documents or class handouts.

For more information on how to update your public-facing (for example, forms, policy documents), or more complex PDFs (for example, image-heavy documents or brochures/catalogs), please visit our section on Creating Accessible PDFs.

What about my course materials?

If you are aware that a student is registered with the Moses Center for Student Accessibility, then feel free to contact the Moses Center for consultation.

It is best practice and supports NYU’s goals to ensure that all digital content is accessible before an accommodation request is made:

If faculty assign students to contribute to public websites as part of course requirements, are these subject to ADA regulations?

Yes. We strongly recommend you use resources that are accessible to all students. Consult with the Moses Center for Student Accessibility if you have questions regarding the accessibility of any class resources you intend to use in class.

Our website was created by an outside firm? How do I make it compliant?

If you contract with a firm to bring your website into compliance or create a new website, see our Buying Accessible IT guidelines for procurement process, RFI/RFP language, and contract language to ensure that any work the vendor does is compliant with NYU standards.

What kind of training or assistance will NYU provide to help me do the right thing?

See our Training Opportunities and Tools section for training resources. The Digital Accessibility Program team is also available to speak with staff, faculty, or special interest groups. Please contact them at

Do I have to caption my videos on my public website?

All public-facing media relating to University programs, services or activities need to be captioned as of August 1, 2018. Videos and audio files published, created or substantially changed from January 1, 2015-August 1, 2018 must captioned as soon as possible.

Review our captioning resources for more information (an NYU login is required):

If you are obtaining media through the library or other source, you should request a captioned version of the materials whenever possible. Read this article for more information about how to order captions through NYU Stream.

Review our Creating accessible media guidelines for more helpful tips.

Is an auto-generated caption/transcript sufficient for accessibility?

No. While NYU Stream and YouTube provide automated captioning using voice recognition technology, these auto-generated captions generally do not meet acceptable standards for accuracy (especially for technical or discipline-specific language), unless they have also been corrected manually. Both NYU Stream and YouTube provide interfaces for adding your own closed caption file and for correcting auto-generated captions; however, only the content owner can add or edit captions. Read about ordering captions and editing captions in NYU Stream as well as how to use YouTube captions.

Can I have someone else do the captioning for me?

You can, of course, use the automated tools and correct the transcription yourself. You can also hire a student to edit the transcription. In addition, there are vendors that can do the captioning for you. Pricing will vary depending on the turnaround time you require and whether or not you already have a transcript for the media.

What does it human captioning cost?

Automated captioning is provided at no cost via NYU Stream and YouTube. If you would like captions created by a person and not an automatic system that will require you to go in and make edits afterward, review this captioning resource for more information (an NYU login is required):