Effective Communication

For communication to be effective, written or spoken content should be clear and understandable to individuals with disabilities. Many auxiliary services facilitate the provision of effective communication, but the most common include sign language interpreters, real time captioners, assistive listening devices, and closed captioning for audio and/or video materials. Any video or audio that is livestreamed or published in the digital environment must have captions.

Sign language interpreters

Departments and campus partners are encouraged to arrange interpreters for all USC programs and events. Attendees that request accommodations for an event should be asked about their preference of communication access. Every attempt should be made to meet that specific accommodation request.

Real-time captioning

Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is an instant translation of the spoken word into text. CART reporters typically use a stenotype machine, notebook computer, and real-time software. CART is a form of communication access primarily used by individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Video remote interpreters (VRIs)

VRIs are for DHH individuals who use sign language, although depending on the context and the setting, they may opt to use CART services. VRI is especially useful for discussion groups or interactive sessions because often the VRI will “voice” for the DHH individual, as well as provide the information in sign language. This service will require an outside vendor to connect with the session and provide interpreting services. VRI is typically provided upon request only.

Assistive Listening Devices (ALD’s)

In some cases, individuals may require access to ALD’s for effective communication. USC offers a range of options including looped as well as individual FM systems that are available for checkout during the event. Visit USC’s UPC map for looped buildings and available ALD locations.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that at least 25% of receivers, but no fewer than two, shall be hearing aid compatible. An ALD may be considered hearing aid compatible if a telecoil (t-coil) can be utilized with the device.

USC campus partners planning or hosting an event and seeking resources, please visit our Event Accessibility page.