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Captioning Live Events

Requirements for Captioning Live Video

Aside from the intrinsic value of inclusion for all, live captioning must be provided for all live audio content in synchronized media on the Web per WCAG AA 1.2.4, which serves as the University of Minnesota Accessibility Standard.

"Captions are provided for all live audio content in synchronized media. (Level AA) "

Since the advent of C-Print and CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) along with the capabilities of laptops and adapters to show captions on screens, it is possible for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, among others, to have direct captioning of live events. Streaming video of the event over the open Web requires captions, so it is a way to be compliant both on-site and in Web communications.

Types of Live Captioning

Two basic types of captioning exist: C-Print/Typewell and CART.

C-Print and Typewell

C-Print and Typewell provide a content based meaning-for-meaning realtime transcription (similar to an interpreter) rather than verbatim. They provide meaning in fewer words. C-Print is phonetically based and Typewell is based on spelling. Both are typically less expensive than CART.


CART provides a realtime verbatim, word-for-word transcription like court reporting.

Services for Captioning Live Events

ITSS does not have the staff to provide captioning services for live events. To obtain captioning you have several options:

1. UMD Disability Resources

UMD Disability Resources coordinates live captioning with a remote service, Alternative Communication Systems (ACS), for UMD departments and programs requiring realtime captioning. Cost is: $98 an hour for CART and $60 an hour for CPrint.

2. Livestream

Live captioning is also available directly from Livestream. For details of what that service includes, how it works, and pricing please consult Livestream Subtitles.

3. Interpreting and Captioning Unit on the Twin Cities Campus

The Interpreting and Captioning Unit on the Twin Cities Campus has C-Print Captioners on staff.

What is Needed by Captioners From Instructors in Advance?

From Captioning Guidelines for Instructors:

Please provide the captioner with any course information as soon as it is available, including:

  • Access to Web Vista, Moodle and other web-based material
  • The course syllabus
  • Handouts (e.g. PowerPoint slides, readings, etc.)
  • The handouts may be submitted to captioning service. This allows the captioner a chance to prepare and convey accurate information.
  • Before showing a video in class, please check to see the media is captioned and have the captions turned on for the viewing.

Captioning Live Events References

Related Captioning References