Some faculty have expressed concerns about potential FERPA and HIPAA violations when adding external vendors to a course to assist with transcription accommodations for students. These accommodations are referred to as Communication-Accessible Audio/Video materials or Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART). 

The accommodations provided by external vendors are essential for many students, and the University is careful about protecting students’ information when these vendors are granted access to courses. Vendors provided by Disability Support Services (DSS) have been vetted by Procurement Services and UDIT before they can work on campus. All vendors have also signed a service agreement contract which includes a confidentiality clause. 

If you are using external vendors to assist with course accommodations, you have two choices for how you want to move forward:

  • If you choose to add a vendor to your Canvas course: we recommend that you add the vendor in a Designer role. Designers do not see grades, but they do have access to all course content, including unpublished content. Vendors need early access to course materials to provide timely transcriptions.
  • If you choose to NOT allow a vendor to be in your course: you must provide the vendor with all links to pre-recorded materials that need to be transcribed.

For either method, you need to work with the DSS office to complete a Google Sheet which serves as a formal communication between you as the instructor, DSS, and the vendor. This document details what needs to be provided to the student and in what time frame; it also assists in guiding the Designer of the course to find the right materials.

Vendors who need access to Canvas as Designers should have a guest ID sponsored by DSS. You will need this ID from the vendor in order to add them to your course. If you have questions, reach out to the DSS Office at