Speech-to-Text Services

What is the Policy for Speech-to-Text Services?

Student Access Center (SAC) recognizes the importance of quality real-time auditory access to academic and co-curricular materials. Consequently, sign language interpreting and real-time speech-to-text services are integral pieces of the accommodation process for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The following procedures outline the provision of such services.


  • First day of class: Arrive a few minutes early the first day of class to introduce yourself to the service provider. Be sure your seat in each classroom is right for you. It is important that you have a direct line of vision to the instructor and the board, and have space for your computer or text display screen.
  • Questions about class information: If you have questions about class information, ask the instructor. It can be very beneficial to meet with the instructor outside of class time, either during the instructor’s office hours or by making an appointment with the instructor. You may request speech-to-text services for meetings with your instructors. If you want to talk briefly with the instructor or teaching assistant immediately preceding or following class, it is your responsibility to ask the service provider if they can arrive before or stay after class for this purpose.
  • Visual information: The student, instructor, and Student Access Center (SAC) staff will work collaboratively, as necessary, to ensure that visual information presented on blackboards, etc., is collected. Students are encouraged to utilize note-takers for each class to assist with summarizing the instructor’s message and to capture information displayed on the blackboard/whiteboard, etc.
  • Schedule changes: The SAC needs a copy of your class schedule and accommodation requests to arrange speech-to-text services. Students eligible for early enrollment are encouraged to take advantage of this accommodation and submit class schedules to the Interpreter Coordinator promptly. Due to the limited availability of service providers, schedules and schedule changes by the student received less than five (5) business days prior to the first day of class are at risk for starting the semester without a service provider. If you need to make a schedule change, please notify your access specialist right away. Note that there may be a gap in service if the schedule change is not reported to your access specialist with at least five (5) business days’ notice due to rescheduling needed by the service provider.
  • Attendance: If a student will be absent for any reason, it is important that they notify the Interpreter Coordinator as soon as possible but absolutely no later than 15 minutes before the class. When possible, a cancellation notice should be made a minimum of two business days in advance of the event/class. Failure to notify the Interpreter Coordinator in advance will result in that absence being counted as a no-show/no-call. The student is responsible for notifying the Interpreter Coordinator of the absence.
  • To notify about an absence: Text 785-330-3595 and include your name and the course name in the message and email the front desk staff in the SAC at access@ku.edu, or call 785-864-4064.
  • Service provider wait time: If you are late, the service provider will wait 10 minutes for classes shorter than an hour and 15 minutes for classes longer than an hour. If you do not arrive to your class within these timelines, the service provider will leave and notify the Interpreter Coordinator of a no-show/no-call.
  • Student no-show/no-call: After the third no-show/no-call per semester, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange a meeting with the Interpreter Coordinator to discuss the situation and review SAC policies regarding cancellations.
  • After the fourth no-show/no call per semester, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange a meeting with the Executive Director or designee to discuss the potential continuance of speech-to-text services for the class in question.
  • Leaving class: The service provider will not type if you are not present in the room. (The role of the speech-to-text service provider is to provide real-time communication access.)
  • Service provider no-show or technology crash: Contact the SAC office at access@ku.edu and text 785-330-3595 immediately for assistance.
  • Transcript: Service providers will provide unedited electronic transcripts to you immediately following class via email attachment. The class transcript is for your eyes only. Transcripts are not to be shared with any other persons. No other students, even if they identify themselves as an SAC client, are to be given transcripts without prior approval from the appropriate SAC staff member.
  • Equipment: SAC staff will ensure that any equipment or technology, including wireless connectivity and microphones, utilized to effectuate real-time speech-to-text captioning or services is tested by a qualified technician and is working properly at least one week before the first day of class to ensure the student receives timely, equally effective and equally integrated auxiliary aids and services. The SAC and KU Information Technology (IT) will ensure that the Computer-Assisted Remote Transcription (CART) will have a dedicated high-speed wired or wireless connection without interruptions, pauses, or loss of connectivity to ensure a clear audible transmission of voices from all locations in the classroom. SAC will provide a clear, easy-to-read, real-time text display. The SAC will also ensure that eligible students receive an accurate and complete transcript of the oral communication. The University Academic Support Centers (UASC) will provide adequate training in the use of the technology to the users so that equipment setup and operation can be completed quickly and efficiently. Upon student request, the SAC will set up and store equipment used for CART services. In the event of an equipment malfunction, SAC staff will consult with KU IT so that an effective remedy can be provided prior to the next class, if possible, or in a timely manner.
  • Foreign language/technical classes: The SAC will ensure the service provider has access to textbooks, course syllabi, and the course website in foreign language classes or those classes with a high degree of technical material (i.e., math, chemistry) one week before the start of class. Should additional books become necessary to ensure the service provider is prepared, SAC staff will make them available as necessary.
  • Communication with your provider: Communicate with your service provider. Let the service provider know on the first day of class, or early in the semester, if you will be voicing for yourself or prefer her/him to voice for you. Address concerns about the quality of the real-time services with both the speech-to-text service provider and the Interpreter Coordinator so that any technological glitches or transcript quality issues may be resolved promptly.
  • Confidentiality: Speech-to-text service providers contracted with SAC are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the professional standards set by the National Court Reporting Association (NCRA) (i.e., maintain confidentiality, render the message faithfully, refrain from interjecting personal opinions, and function in a manner appropriate to the situation, etc.) as well as abide by all university policies and procedures and the regulations set forth in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). However, service providers may at times need to share classroom accommodation-related issues with other campus staff on a “need to know” basis. As a result, there will be times when service providers share typically confidential information about students and work experiences/challenges for the purpose of improving the quality of SAC services.
  • Internships: Students may be involved with internships or fieldwork placements as part of their academic program. The SAC considers internships and fieldwork placements in the same light as regularly scheduled courses at KU. All of the responsibilities and policies regarding use of services (i.e., interpreting and speech-to-text services) remain in effect for all students who earn course credit in field placements and internship programs.
  • Transportation: Some courses or course assignments may be held off campus (i.e., not on KU’s main campus). Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from the off-campus site. SAC staff and contracted service providers do not provide transportation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students to or from campus or other sites. This applies to internships, field placements, group meetings, courses, and other placements that take place off campus.
  • Additional academic speech-to-text requests: If you need speech-to-text services for any other meeting (such as meeting during a professor’s office hours), lecture, or class-related activity, it is imperative that you complete a Service Request Form at least five (5) business days in advance so that services can be secured.
  • Non-academic speech-to-text requests: All extra-curricular (non-academic) or employment-related speech-to-text requests should be made to the department or organization hosting the activity or event. Host departments/organizations may consult or collaborate with SAC in procuring speech-to-text services. If your requests for services are not satisfied, please contact the ADA Resources Center for Equity and Accessibility at accessibility@ku.edu or 785-864-4946.
  • Academic advisor: If you need speech-to-text services to meet with your advisor, plan ahead; complete a Service Request Form online at least five (5) business days in advance.

Questions: Student Access Center is here as your ally. If you have any special needs or concerns, please direct them to our office in 22 Strong Hall, 785-864-4064 or access@ku.edu.