How to host a captioned class movie event

Hosting a captioned movie event is a great way to show the school community how captions provide inclusive learning. We’ve prepared this ‘how-to’ guide on how to organise and run a captioned class movie event that will help spread the word about how readily available captions are on video, TV, in cinemas and online, while promoting their inclusive benefits for all students. We hope you can make it part of your literacy activities for the week and help grow awareness of captions as a literacy tool for all students.

Who, What, When, Where?

The screening of films, DVDs and videos within schools is subject to copyright law. There are, however, some exceptions for specific education settings so we suggest running a movie event for students in your class or year. Events that are opened up to the public, including parents, may infringe on copyright. For more information on copyright, download the Australian Copyright Council information sheet.

We think a captioned movie event is a fun and entertaining literacy activity to add to National Literacy and Numeracy Week. Depending on your facilities and student numbers, you could choose to host the screening in your classroom, library, A/V room, or even school hall.

Choosing a movie

The simplest way to screen a captioned movie in class is to use a DVD. Captions are supported on a number of devices and there are lots of films released on DVD have captions.

Here are some tips for choosing a DVD:

  • Choose a G or PG-rated movie.
  • Be aware of copyright issues on the DVD you choose and ensure you check them prior to the event.
  • Ensure the DVD has been purchased or rented in the school’s name.
  • DVDs with captions will have the closed caption symbol below on the back of the case, or list “closed captions” or “subtitles for the hearing impaired” in the sound profile. There may be slight differences between the terminologies used between distribution companies.

Closed captions symbol

Instructions will vary depending on the particular DVD and player you are using. There are detailed instructions, including a demonstration video for how to play a DVD with captions on our Media Access Australia website.

Promoting captions

Hosting a class movie event provides a great opportunity to spread the word about the literacy and learning benefits of captions for all students. Here are some ideas that you could use to get others to turn the captions on:

  • Place a short news piece in the school newsletter letting parents and other teachers know about the event and why you’re screening the film with captions.
  • Use the school’s social media channels and website to get the message out to followers and visitors.
  • If you’re interested in creating any posters, flyers or other themed printed materials such as “tickets”, contact us and we help by supplying CAP THAT! logos and other imagery.
  • Consider having a theme for your class movie event that ties in with the film or even literacy. This could include introducing a costume element that the students and teachers could get involved in.

Turn the captions on