McBurney Center Real-Time CART Captioning Services for Departments

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.


The McBurney Center can coordinate live captioning for in-person (onsite) or virtual events, presentations, and disability-related accommodations when UW-Madison is the primary sponsor or host.   These captioning services are provided remotely by a professional, real-time CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) captioner (aka speech to text or STT provider). Coordinating these services is a collaborative process; please submit your request as soon as you have a date and time.   Requests (particularly those with short notice) are subject to CART provider availability.

If your event is in-person, your team will be responsible for providing a link in advance to the live audio source for the remote captioner, computer and/or projection equipment for the captions if needed, and technical support during the event.

McBurney Center staff will provide general guides for setting up and a web link prior to the event that will be used to view the live captions in a web browser. This can be done on a laptop/tablet/mobile device, projected to a screen or monitor, or viewed alongside streaming video.

Review Departmental Services and Accommodations for additional information on accommodation request funding and FAQs.

Making Requests in Communication@UW

Making sign language interpreting (ASL) and captioning requests via CommunicationAccess@UW

    1. Go to McBurney Connect 
    2. Click “Departments – Schedule Interpreting and Captioning”
    3. Log in using your NetID
    4. For First Request Only: Read the Campus Service Agreement and check that you agree to the terms
    5. For First Request Only: Enter your department funding string information. You will need the following information:  (NOTE: If the request is for an accommodation, funding info will be used for tracking and reporting only.)
      • UDDS number
      • Fund (3-digit number)
      • Project Name/Number (if applicable, should be 7 characters, maybe letters, numbers or a combination of both)
      • Program Number (0-9)
    6. Complete the request form
      • If it is an accommodation request, you will be asked for the name of the person receiving the accommodation
      • Click Submit
    7. Important: Click “Save Changes and Submit for Review” at the bottom of the bottom of Create a Service Request page.   If you do not click on the final “Save Changes and Submit for Review” button, your request will not be sent to the Coordinator.
    8. You will receive an email confirmation and we will follow up with you as needed for more information.  Please continue working on additional info needed for your request, including: tech contact(s), location if in-person, links for virtual sessions (e.g. Zoom, StreamYard), identifying media to be used, and requesting prep materials
    9. When your request is filled, you will receive an email letting you know who the service provider(s) will be for your request. If the McBurney Center is unable to fill your request, we will let you know as soon as we can.

More information

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Someone contacted me and asked if there would be captioning at our event. Can I use the auto captioning feature?

You can provide auto (also referred to as AI captions) if the request is not a request for a disability-related accommodation or if the person with the disability is specifically requesting access to auto captions as an accommodation.  However, typically if live captioning is requested as a disability-related accommodation, then professional CART captions are provided.

The quality of auto captioning is typically not high enough to be used for accommodation purposes, particularly for someone who is Deaf or hard of hearing.   The quality of the auto captioning can vary depending on many factors including the vocabulary, the speed and audio quality of the speaker, the number of speakers and other sounds and/or voices happening simultaneously.

I would like to provide live CART captioning for an event I am hosting. How much will this cost?

If the request is for a disability-related accommodation, the cost will be covered centrally by campus (starting 7/1/2022).

If your request is proactive for public access (i.e. you do not have a participant requesting a disability-related accommodation for live captioning), CART captioning services are billed at $110.00 per hour, with a two-hour minimum for each CART provider. Additional hours are billed in ½ hour increments.

  • CART assignments over two hours may require two CART providers.  McBurney Center staff will consult with the department and determine if an additional CART provider is needed.
  • Payment type must be specified before an CART provider will be scheduled. Payment via department UDDS number is preferred.  If a UDDS number is used, the requestor will be notified when the payment is transferred to the McBurney Center.

I do not know the exact location of the onsite event yet, should I make the request now anyway?

CART captioning services are provided remotely; however we do need to know where your event is physically happening so that we can work with a representative from the tech team at that location to determine the best way to get quality, live audio from the room.  You will need to share the contact person(s) from your venue who will be able to provide information about the audio and who will be available at the event.

The earlier we have the request, the more time we have to find a qualified captioner, as CART providers can be booked up weeks in advance.   Please create your request and indicate either the approximate location (e.g. building without a room number) or that the location will be determined.

How do I set up my Zoom settings to allow for professional captioning within Zoom?

What do I need to do prior to the event to allow for captioning?

The McBurney Center will send you the names of the captioners once they are hired for your request.   Please add these service providers to your Zoom session as Alternate Hosts (or other platform as appropriate) to allow for them to enter the session early

How does the McBurney Center provide live captioning for my event?

Whether your event is onsite or virtual, you will need to provide the McBurney Center with a link in advance that will allow the CART captioner to access the live audio (e.g. Zoom session info/link, web streaming link, etc.).  It works best if you admit the CART captioner or start the audio early so that the captioner can set up and test before your event begins.

The McBurney Center will provide you with a web link in advance (view Streamtext demo) that will be used to view the captions on individual devices or for projection.

If you are using a platform that has a backstage (e.g. StreamYard) and/or involves a streaming delay (e.g. YouTube Live), please let us know so that we can work together to find the best setup.

Note: If you are hosting a virtual event and you plan to use breakout rooms, your staff will need to move the CART captioner to the appropriate breakout room.


How do captions appear for a live, on-site event?

You have the option to display the captions for a live event either on individual device(s) (laptop, tablet or mobile device) or projected onto a large screen or monitor for public viewing.

If virtual, you will need to:

  • Advertise or let participant(s) know how they can access the captions
  • If using break-out rooms, assign someone to monitor the breakout rooms and move the captioner to the correct break-out room

If you choose to display the captions on a screen or monitor for public access, someone from your team will need to:

  • provide the equipment (separate projector & screen or monitor for the captions, laptop, cables, and internet access)
  • set up and test the equipment
  • open the live captioning link
  • provide technical support

If I have a CART provider scheduled. Will they live caption pre-recorded videos that we show during our event?

No, the CART provider will not caption the videos.  You need to caption all pre-recorded videos/media for your event or use videos/media that are already captioned.  Adding captions takes time, so please include time to acquire videos and produce the captions in your event planning.

If you are requesting sign language interpreting or live CART captioning for your event AND you will be showing media during the event, the McBurney Center can, with sufficient notice and early access, help produce the captioning for this media.

Can I use the CART transcript to create the closed captions for the recording of the event?

CART captioning provides live communication access to individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing or for public access.  A CART transcript is not a verbatim transcript and is not suitable for closed captioning without additional post-production work, including the insertion of time codes and text editing (e.g. correcting spelling errors, adding environmental sounds, speaker info, etc.). DoIT provides additional information on creating accessible videos/media.

Funding Captioning/Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) Service Costs

Funding policy info is in the process of being updated to reflect the 7/1/2022 change to central funding for disability-related accommodations for sign language interpreting and real-time/live captioning.