Ordering captions, transcripts, or audio descriptions (for a fee)

How to order captions, transcripts, or audio descriptions for a fee from a vendor.

Captions, transcripts, and audio descriptions help to make media content more accessible to students, employees, and members of the public and help to ensure that your content is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Review the creating accessible video and audio content guidance to learn more about when they should be used.

In this document:

Benefits of working with a vendor

  • They do the work for you and at a high quality

  • They have experts to help and can work quickly

  • Your media will be ADA compliant


UW-Madison has discounted pricing with two captioning, transcription, and audio description vendors: 3PlayMedia and CaptionSync. Review the comparisons on pricing, turnaround time and features.

Want to caption on your own for free? Use the guidance on do it yourself captioning and audio transcribing for free

How it works

  1. Set up an account

  2. Agree to terms and conditions

  3. Set up billing

  4. For pre-recorded media, provide the vendor access to your media. The vendor will send or make available your caption, transcript, or audio description to upload to your media player. 

  5. For live web conferencing, you will need to give the vendor access to your web conferencing event to provide live captioning. 

Captioning for a student requesting accommodations

If an instructor has a student in their course who is affiliated with the McBurney Disability Resource Center, McBurney will send instructors a faculty notification letter. McBurney will contact the instructor to discuss the accommodation process for McBurney providing sign language, live captioning (CART) services, or captioning pre-recorded media to the student. See McBurney Disability Resource Office departmental services for more information.

Sign Language Services

3PlayMedia and CaptionSync do not offer sign language services. Sign language services are offered for student accommodations by the McBurney Disability Resource Office. For sign language services not affiliated with student accommodations, see the ASL Interpretation Agency Listing from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Ordering from vendors

When ordering for pre-recorded media or live web conferencing, each vendor needs you to set up an account. Use your UW-Madison credentials in both cases. You will be contacted by the vendor for some onboarding, and you’ll need billing information.


Set up a 3PlayMedia account.


Set up a CaptionSync account, select a “Web Captions” account type.

Turnaround time

The price will vary according to how quickly you want the captioning complete. Review the comparisons on pricing and turnaround time.

Expected results

Both services will deliver ADA compliant content. Pre-recorded content should be above 99% accuracy. Live content will have an 80-95% accuracy rate depending on the environment and background noise. 

Get help

Contact the vendor for questions regarding how to set up accounts and ordering services.

Contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center for questions regarding student accommodations.

For help and context regarding what captions, transcripts, or audio descriptions are and when to use them, use the guidance on creating accessible video and audio content and contact the Center for Digital Accessibility & User Experience.

See Also:

Keywords:3Play Media, Automatic Sync Technologies, AST, CaptionSync, caption, captioning, transcribe, transcription, media files, literacy, reading and listening comprehension, deaf, hard of hearing, digital media, literacy, reading, audio descriptions, how to, lecture, video, web conference, web conferencing, asynchronous, synchronous   Doc ID:14934
Owner:Sandi A.Group:Accessibility & Usability
Created:2010-08-26 19:00 CDTUpdated:2020-03-20 16:13 CDT
Sites:Accessibility & Usability
Feedback:  13   7