Live Captioning

If your unit is planning to live stream an event (i.e., individual college commencements; live concerts, or anything that has a large, external, public-facing aspect - see FAQs below), the event must also be captioned live. This is in order to be compliant with federal policy and is mandated by the University. The University recommends that you use VITAC, a live captioning software company, for any live captioning needs. Please book their services as soon as you can as they will undoubtedly be receiving multiple requests from across the nation at any given time. (However, you may also use other vendors or utilize a certified transcriptionist.)

Transcription services provide live captioning for video live streamed through a website. If you will also (or will only) be live streaming at a physical location to TV screens, projectors or other types of digital display (as in the case of regular commencement ceremonies), you have two options for meeting university accessibility requirements:

  1. Embed the live caption window (provided by the link the vendor sends to you) onto the video screen. This can be done by resizing the text and window to fit at the bottom of the screen. Essentially, you will have two windows open at the same time.
  2. Provide an additional screen somewhere in the physical location solely for the captioned text as live captions do not show up as regular closed caption text seen on TV. Therefore, you could have one screen for the live video feed and one for the live captioned text.

As an additional measure, you can also request an interpreter. Using an interpreter on stage can be beneficial for those in attendance; however, this does not make you 100% compliant with federal accessibility guidelines. Not all deaf or hard of hearing individuals know how to use American Sign Language. If you do want to use interpreters, you may email to request assistance in scheduling interpreters.  Availability of LSU interpreters is extremely limited,  so submit your request as soon as possible. If Disability Services cannot provide the interpreters, they can provide you with referral information for local agencies who may be able to provide the interpreters.

 If you have any questions or need assistance, you may contact Anna Bartel ( and the Online Accessibility Working Group (


An event can be best described as anything that is not a regular business or class meeting. For example, anything where invitations are being sent, registration is taking place, or participants from outside the university are being invited to participate; especially if events are effectively open to members of the general public.

For online meetings and calls that are a routine part of conducting university business, live captioning is not required unless a participant requests that this be done.

Online class meetings for academic courses (offerings in the course catalog) do not need live captioning. Enrolled students who require accommodations for their academic coursework can work with the Office of Disability Services to meet their specific needs. Note that digital resources and content (documents, videos, etc.) are still required to meet the relevant accessibility standards if posted to Moodle or a website.

LSU does not endorse any specific vendors, but several units on campus have acquired services from the following:

Please contact the specific vendor of your choosing to identify the services you need. LSU recommends using VITAC as they are a national leader in live transcriptions, and they have a large number of transcriptionists employed to assist with any last minute transcription needs. 

Yes. An approved exception request is required any time your unit is holding an online event, and it will not be captioned as required by university policy and standards. The DRC Exceptions Committee takes into account:

The event’s audience is known in advance, and no participants require any captioning accommodations.
The event has a robust communications plan for individuals who need accommodations and an approved plan in place to provide them, if needed.

The DRC Exceptions Committee is working on updating the ADA Exception Request form found on the Accessibility Hub to take into account live captioning exception requests. In the meantime, please contact the committee directly at They will want to know the date of the event(s), the approximate number of attendees, if the general public is invited, and if the event requires registration.  

Yes, you can (and should) make an accommodations request part of your registration flow, encouraging requests as far in advance as possible.