Access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students

DAS collaborates with faculty to make classrooms and course materials accessible for Deaf and hard of hearing students, fostering an inclusive learning environment.

How do I know if my course media has captions?

– Check media settings for terms like “captions,” “subtitles,” “languages,” or “special features.”
– Ensure the accuracy of captioned text.
– Find the “Closed Captioning” option in the media player settings to activate closed captions.
– If no captions are available or they are inaccurate, follow the steps in the section on adding professional captions to your course media for further guidance.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for uploading and captioning video content:

1. Upload your video media file to your course’s MyMedia account. (Refer to Getting Started with MyMedia for guidance.)

2. Add as a collaborator.

3. In the description section, insert the name of the video and the course number.

4. Add “3Play” in the tag section.

5. Click “SAVE.”

6. Your video will be authorized for closed captioning by the end of the business day and processed for completed closed captions within 3 – 5 days. For rush authorization, contact

7. For additional assistance with uploading video content to MyMedia, refer to the MyMedia page on “Using Captions and Transcripts in MyMedia.”

BU Tech Web has live and archived trainings on MyMedia and Echo360 captioning accessibility. Register early!

NOTE: If you have received a letter from DAS stating that you have a student with approved Communication Access Accommodations: Closed Captioning/CART, know that DAS uses 1 of 2 captioning vendors approved by the University – 3Play Media. You, as a faculty member or department do not need to create an account with a closed captioning vendor in order to secure captions for your course content. Simply focus on getting your media content uploaded to MyMedia, add as a collaborator, and add the tag 3play media in the tags field.

My videos are hosted on a YouTube or Vimeo that I do not manage. How do I get them captioned?

YouTube, Vimeo videos or videos hosted on other media players must be professionally closed captioned if they are to be required viewing in your course.  Fair Use precedents allow you as an instructor to acquire the source media file using open source extraction software in order to upload the file into the secure space of the University Learning Management System. (see references to  Fair Use references and National Deaf Center)

Disability & Access Services and Educational Technology do not, however, provide service support or instructions on acquiring software or using software that acquires media files from 3rd party video hosting platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo and so on.

If it is determined that your media cannot be professionally captioned or transcript alternatives cannot be made available as an approved and equitable accommodation, the media may not be used in your course.

Library Media Services may be able to provide accessible content that meets your academic needs and accessibility standards.

Remote ASL interpreters & CART Providers

Please email the Zoom link for your class to, as the Interpreters and CART providers will need it to provide services.

Please include and providers in email correspondences to students so we can ensure the student and providers have the support they need for this learning format.

If you are using other Learning Management System  platforms other than University supported ones, please share that information with the providers and; Some LMS systems do not integrate accessibility features and therefore they become a barrier to student access whereas BU supported LMS’ are supported and compliant

Supported LMS and Video Media Hosting Platforms:




Helpful Tips for Teaching Deaf & hard of hearing Students Online:


Working With ASL Interpreters in the Classroom


In educational settings, a team of two or more interpreters is often utilized.

Speak at a natural or reasonable pace. Too slow of a pace is as difficult to interpret as too fast of a pace.

Refrain from talking during written class work: This is important for the all the same reasons described above.

Speaking directly toward the interpreter or CART provider in order to communicate with a Deaf or hard of hearing person is highly discouraged. Succinct and practical collegial communication with an Interpreter or CART provider to prepare for the instruction moment or address impactful communication access logistics for the class is appropriate when done modestly and without compromising the Deaf participants communication access.

Inappropriate statement while communicating through an interpreter:

“Tell them that they are welcome to sit anywhere they would like to in the classroom.”

Appropriate statement while communicating through an interpreter:

“You  are welcome to sit anywhere that you would like to in the classroom.”



Share course materials and teaching aids (course syllabus, handouts, readings, and vocabulary lists) that will be useful for the ASL interpreters to use to prepare for class.

 Allow the student and the interpreter to choose the seat that provides the best visual vantage point.

Build in time for PowerPoint presentations: The visual learner cannot watch the interpreter and look at a PowerPoint at the same time. After introducing the PowerPoint, allow time for the student to obtain the information conveyed and then focus on the screen.

All videos or films must be shown with subtitles or closed captioned enabled. Many new videos/films are already captioned. Nevertheless, always check to make sure that (a) they are indeed captioned and (b) you know how to turn on closed captions.

Know how to orchestrate an interpreter and student-friendly class discussion. Always ask all students to  be recognized visually or aurally before speaking.  Remember, the interpreter is usually one to two sentences behind the speaker. Wait until the interpreter has finished interpreting the entire “block of information,” so that the student has time to process it and  to participate in the discussion.

Plan for Breaks: Static visual learning can physically exhausting and can cause eye fatigue. The task of interpreting is cognitively and physically challenging. The allowance of breaks is especially important when there is only one interpreter.

CART Service Providers 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 Zoom.

Helpful Strategies for Working With CART Providers in the Classroom

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

Permit the CART provider 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 provider knows they must follow the intent of the speaker at all times. The CART provider 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 CART provider may then use a substitute language which is computer-translatable so that the term can be understood by the student.