McBurney Center Sign Language Interpreting 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 sign language interpreting services (ASL) for in-person (onsite) or virtual events, presentations, and disability-related accommodations when UW Madison is the primary sponsor or host. 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 Interpreter availability.

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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I would like to provide a sign language interpreter 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), sign language interpreting services are billed at $75.00 per hour, with a two-hour minimum for each interpreter. Additional hours are billed in ½ hour increments.

  • Any interpreting assignment over 60 minutes may require two or more interpreters. McBurney Center staff will consult with the department regarding the nature of the assignment to determine the number of interpreters needed to fill the assignment.
  • Payment type must be specified before an interpreter 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 my request yet; should I make the request anyway?

Yes, the earlier we have the request, the more time we have to find a qualified interpreter, as schedules can fill 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.

I only have one deaf person attending. Why do I need to have two interpreters?

Sign language interpreting is mentally and physically demanding. Therefore, two interpreters may be needed, depending on the request. It is standard industry practice to provide two interpreters for any request over 75 minutes. If a request is particularly technical, two interpreters may be needed for a shorter request as well. McBurney Center staff will consult with you about your request to determine if two interpreters are needed.

If I have a sign language interpreter, will they interpret the pre-recorded videos that we will show during the event?

No, they will not interpret 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.

Funding Interpreter 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.