Communication Access Services

There are three types of services most typically requested for communication access and one service that should always be provided for events. These are post-production captioning, assistive listening devices (ALDs), live captioning (or live transcription), and sign language interpreting.

Post-Production Captioning

Post-production captioning is the process by which captions are added to pre-recorded media. All videos shown during events should be captioned, whether or not captioning is specifically requested by an attendee. To learn more about this process and the different ways captions can be created, visit the Captioning 101 Guide to Post-Production Captioning.

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)

Assistive listening devices are typically requested by people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Ithaca College has a number of spaces with built in systems that have assistive listening capabilities. If assistive listening devices are required for use in a campus building, contact the IT Service Desk to learn more about what options are available. Conference and Event Services and Student Accessibility Services also have a number of portable assistive listening devices that can be used in spaces that do not have built in systems or in situations where an event attendee will need to be outside or in multiple locations.

It is important to note that there is no one universal type of assistive listening device that will work for everyone. If an event attendee requests the use of an assistive listening device, coordinate with the ADA Coordinator ( or Student Accessibility Services to make sure that a compatible device is available or an alternative solution can be found.

Live Captioning/Transcription

Live captioning (or live transcription) is the means by which captions are provided for live lectures and other events. Captions are generated in real time so attendees can read along on a screen or personal device. There are two types of live captioning: captions created by humans and captions created by automatic speech recognition (ASR). Human-created captions are the ONLY method that meets accommodation standards.

If an event attendee requests live captioning for an event, coordinate with Conference and Event Services to find a reliable provider. It may take up to a few weeks to schedule captioning and could cost up to $140-200 per hour. To learn more about live captioning, visit the Captioning 101 Guide to Live Captioning.

Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting

Event attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing may request a sign language interpreter. It may take up to a few weeks to schedule an interpreter and could cost up to $75-150 per hour. Some agencies may require a 2-hour minimum for in-person services. If such a request is made, coordinate with Conference and Event Services to find a reliable provider.

In rare cases, an attendee may request BOTH live captioning and an interpreter. These accommodations are not interchangeable. If you have questions about such requests, coordinate with ADA Coordinator, Linda Koenig, at