Departmental Services and Accommodations

New Starting July 1, 2022

Beginning with requests taking place on or after 7/1/2022 (FY23), disability-related accommodations for sign language interpreting and real-time/live captioning (e.g. CART services) provided for UW-Madison units through the McBurney Disability Resource Center will now be centrally funded by the university.  This includes accommodation requests for these services from students, staff, faculty, and visitors/guests.  If these services are being provided proactively without a specific disability-related accommodation request, they will continue to be billed to the respective department.

Accessibility and Accessible Event FAQs

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Can you provide an accessibility tagline example that I can use to let people know how to make an accommodation request?

It is a best practice to include an accessibility tagline on all public information advertising your event.  These statements give attendees with disabilities relevant information on who to contact to request timely accommodations.  Here is an example:

“If you need an accommodation to attend this event, please contact <name, event host/coordinator> at <phone number & email>. All accommodation requests should be made no less than <two weeks: see note> before the event. We will attempt to fulfill requests made after this date, but cannot guarantee they will be met.

(Optional: <Accessibility features/services> will be available to all participants.)”

[Note: If your event is being advertised with less than three weeks’ notice, then you will need to adjust the timeline indicated for accommodations requests.]

How do I let participants know what accessibility features are available to all participants?

Along with an accessibility tagline, it is also a best practice to share with participants accessibility features that you are providing proactively.  Examples include:

  • Real-time captioning (CART) – Include info on how to access the captions
  • Sign language interpreting (ASL) – Include info on how to access the interpreter(s)
  • Audio description – Include info on how to access the audio descriptions or audio described version
  • Assistive listening devices (ALDs) – Include info on where and how to check out an ALD
  • Auto or AI captions  – Include info on how to turn on the auto captions.  Note that while auto captions may provide access for some individuals, they may be insufficient for others.  Individuals can still request live CART captioning as an accommodation as appropriate.

If I do not receive an accommodation request, do I have to provide sign language interpreting or live captioning?

If you have included an accessibility tagline and do not receive a request for an accommodation, you are not currently required to provide interpreters or live captioning.  However, live captioning is encouraged for signature and larger events.

If your event is virtual (e.g. Zoom) and you do not have a specific accommodation request, it is recommended that you enable the auto captions as an option for participants.

Please also refer to How to follow UW-Madison’s Digital Accessibility Policy

Requests FAQs

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When should I submit the request(s)?

The lead time needed depends on the nature of the request, timing of the request, availability of service providers, and related support.  Therefore, the best practice is to submit the request as early as possible so that we can review it and provide you with more info.  Coordinating sign language interpreting and live captioning for departments is subject to service provider availability.

For example, a one-hour request in the middle of the day during the semester is more difficult to fill than a one-hour request in the evening.  And a one-hour request is typically easier to fill than a 2-day conference.

Note that requests submitted over a weekend are reviewed on the next business day.

I received a request for an accommodation for an event that is happening very soon. Can I still make an accommodation request with less than two days’ notice?

Yes, please make your request as soon as you receive it.  The McBurney Center will try to fill last minute requests, and will let you know if we cannot fill the request.

Note that requests submitted over a weekend are reviewed on the next business day.

Accommodation and Central Funding FAQs

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Who can interpreting and captioning accommodation requests be made for?

Interpreting and captioning accommodation requests can be made for faculty, staff, students, visitors, and guests.

I do not have a specific accommodation request currently. Can I change my request from a Public Access to an Accommodation Request later if an accommodation request is made?

Yes, you will be able to update your request later.  It is best if you go ahead and make your request and mark it as Public Access.  Submitting your request early maximizes the opportunity to fill the request.  If you do receive an accommodation request later, you can email the CommunicationAccess team. to update the request.

I have an accommodation request for live CART captioning and would like to display the captions for everyone. Will the rental cost of the monitor or projection to display the captions be centrally funded by campus?

No, these additional costs will not be covered centrally by campus. The sponsoring department is responsible for any additional costs, other than the sign language interpreting, CART captioning and the related post-production Captioning.

Now that the costs of sign language interpreting and live captioning accommodations are funded centrally by campus, should we still budget for accessibility and accommodations costs?

Yes, you should still budget for accessibility and accommodations costs beyond what is covered centrally.  For example, you may have costs associated with improving the accessibility of your website, proactively providing live captioning for events, or accommodations that aren’t related to sign language interpreting or captioning.

I received an email asking if there would be live captioning at our event. Is this considered a disability-related accommodation request?

To be covered centrally, there should be sufficient information to indicate that the request is a disability-related accommodation.  An example response would be:

“We do not have professional, live captioning scheduled for this event.  If you need captioning (either auto or professional) as a disability-related accommodation, please let me know or contact <insert name and email> as soon as possible so that this accommodation can be arranged.”

The host or presenter would like to request sign language interpreting or captioning for their event to make it more accessible. Is this considered an accommodation and is the cost covered centrally by campus?

No, this is considered Public Access unless there is a specific, individual disability-related accommodation request for sign language interpreting or captioning.

Can the host or presenter request sign language interpreting or captioning as a disability-related accommodation for themself?

Yes, the host or presenter may make a request if they have a disability that necessitates sign language interpreting or captioning as an accommodation.

My department is going to incur interpreter or captioner costs for accommodations outside of the McBurney Center process. How can I be reimbursed for the cost if the request is for an accommodation?

Please email the McBurney Center CommunicationAccess team in advance of the event or hiring agencies/staff to discuss options and whether hiring interpreters or captioners directly would qualify for central funding.