Faculty and Staff


BU Policies

Boston University works hard to provide equally effective communication and classrooms. We partner with faculty to make sure your materials are in accessible formats. Please keep this in mind when designing your syllabi and selecting media. Please see below for tip-sheets on: Captioning, accessible media, CART, Interpreters.



Top Ten Things D/deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students Would Like Their Teachers to Do (via DeafTEC)

(Image of list from DeafTEC)




Want to know more about Deaf culture? Click here.



Captioning of Required Media

Per Boston University policy, All video and other media shown in your classroom or assigned for your course must be captioned.

Please go to MyMedia (link) for tutorials

Christopher Robinson, Outreach Coordinator, @crobin@bu.edu is available to coach you through the process.

My video does not have captions, can I still use it as a part of my course?


1. Check for existing captions

Sometimes they are found in the settings tab, look for headings such as subtitles, languages, captions, or special features to enable the captions.

2. If you found captions, check to make sure they are accurate

Sometimes captions do not match the audio content. If you are using a video that already has captions, please make sure that they are accurate!

3. Check for an alternative version of the media content

Check a different website or the BU library for another version of the media that has captions

4. After attempts have been made for steps 1-3, send the file to DHHODS@bu.edu as soon as possible and we will send it out a request for transcription.

ASL Interpreters in the Classroom

ASL interpreters facilitate communication between ASL and English. The Deaf community is comprised of members with a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds. In educational settings, a team of interpreters is often utilized.

Helpful Strategies for Working With ASL Interpreters in the Classroom


Meet with the interpreter and share course materials and teaching aids (course syllabus, handouts, readings, and vocabulary lists).

Speak at a natural or reasonable pace.

Speak in the first-person. When speaking to the D/deaf or Hard-of-Hearing student, look directly at them and not at the interpreter. Avoid using third-person statements such as “ask her” or “tell him”.

Build in time for PowerPoint presentations. After introducing the slide, allow time for the student to focus on the screen before conveying additional information.

Refrain from talking during written classwork.

Ask all students to raise their hands and be recognized before speaking. This allows the interpreter to finish interpreting the information, so that the D/deaf or Hard-of-Hearing student may participate in the discussion.

ASL Interpreters in the classroom tipsheet


CART Services in the Classroom

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is a speech-to-text service that displays a complete transcription of all spoken words and environmental sounds to communicate a message. This may be through an onsite CART provider who comes into the classroom, or through a remote service. The remote service is done via Skype for Business.

Helpful Strategies for Working With CART Providers in the Classroom


Meet with the CART reporter and share course materials and teaching aids (course syllabus, handouts, readings, and vocabulary lists) that will be useful for the CART reporter to use to prepare for class. The specialized vocabulary for the class will be entered into the reporter’s dictionary, which will help to maintain a high translation rate. This is advantageous for both the reporter and the student(s).

Permit the CART reporter to sit in a location that makes hearing you and the students in the class as easy as possible. Please note that it may be necessary to wear a microphone to ensure the clarity of the audio for the CART provider, the student will be responsible for providing you with one if necessary.

Since the translation and text display are usually one to four seconds behind the speaker, it may take the student who is deaf or hard of hearing a few seconds longer to respond. Try to limit the class discussion to one person speaking at a time, so that all students have the opportunity to participate.

Restate or summarize students’ comments if they are hard to hear, or somewhat disorganized. The CART reporter knows they must follow the intent of the speaker at all times. The reporter will render as near a verbatim translation as possible, always conveying the content and spirit of the speaker. Sometimes, a new term is introduced that will not translate properly. The reporter may then use a substitute language which is computer-translatable so that the term can be understood by the student.

Events/Requesting Services:


To request services for graduation, please fill out the disability request form found at bu.edu/commencement

Hosting a BU event?

You do not need to provide services unless a formal request is placed. Once a consumer has placed their request, contact our office and we will get the process started. For ASL Interpreter requests, please email ASLODS@bu.edu, for CART requests, please email DHHODS@bu.edu with the following information:

What is the event?

What is the event for?

How many deaf consumers will be present?

When, dates and time?

Where is the meeting or event

How do I request an interpreter for a BU event?


Contact the office or the host of the event! If you are having trouble finding the host, let us know, we would be happy to help. If the event has an associated fee, we may not be able to cover the cost.


Assistive Technology:

FM Systems– FM systems are a devices used to amplify sound.  These sets consist of two main devices: the transmitter and the receiver.  The transmitter is given to the speaker along with the included microphone that they can clip to their shirt.  The student can then plug the receiver into the included pair of headphones to hear the professor.  Volume can be adjusted on the receiver.  The receiver can also be directly connected to a hearing aid via an additional attachment called the Neckloop Telecoil Coupler.  The coupler is attached to the auxiliary port of the receiver in the same way as headphones.



Dorm Kit – A set of visual resources are available students to set up in dorm rooms.  This includes visual fire alarms linked to a flashing light as well as a visual  as an alternative to having visitors knock on their door.  The doorbell unit is attached to the wall outside next to the door.  When the button is pushed, a light flashes on the main component of the system which is kept inside the dorm.  Both visual fire alarms and visual doorbells can also be attached to a bed-shaker unit that will also activate when the doorbell is pressed.

xTag Microphones- In the case of students using remote CART services, the Revolabs wireless microphones are a method of communication between the instructor and the CART provider.  The student plugs the base of the system into their computer using the included USB cord.  The student then adjusts the sound settings on their computer so that input sound is set to the Revolabs device, and can then launch the telecommunication program being used by their CART provider.  The speaker then clips the included microphone to their shirt.  This allows the professor’s speech to be sent to the CART provider to be translated in real time.


Smartpen: A Smartpen is a ballpoint pen with an embedded computer and digital audio recorder. When it is used with special digital paper, it records what it writes for later uploading to a computer, and synchronizes those notes with any audio it has recorded while those notes were being taken.

Faculty/staff requests for services

To request CART

Please email: DHHODS@bu.edu

To request ASL:

Please email ASLODS@bu.edu

Please include:

What is the event?

What is the event for?

How many deaf consumers will be present?

When, dates and time?

Where is the meeting or event