Zoom supports live captioning during meetings and webinars. With this feature enabled, captions can be typed directly into Zoom or can be added to Zoom via an integration with a third-party software or service. For details, see Getting Started with Closed Captioning in the Zoom Help Center.
Also, if a Zoom meeting or webinar is recorded and saved to the cloud, Zoom can generate captions for the archived video using automatic speech recognition (ASR). These typically require editing before they’re suitable for publication, but the ASR process can save substantial time over captioning video from scratch. For specific instructions, see Automatically Transcribing Cloud Recordings in the Zoom Help Center.
The list below is a collection of information and tips on how to make Zoom meetings as accessible as possible for all participants, including participants with disabilities. Most functions in Zoom are user-friendly and are accessible to people who use assistive technology. There are, however, a few exceptions and best practices to be aware of.
Sound quality is important for all users and critical for people who are hard of hearing.
Reduce background noise: When speaking, ensure you are in a noise-free environment and stay close to the microphone.
Mute participants who are not speaking: Especially in large meetings, all participants should be muted except for the person who is speaking. If participants are not consistently muting themselves, the host can mute individual participants in the Manage Participants panel. The host can also use the Mute All tool or the Mute Participants on Entry option to apply muting to multiple participants at once. The “Mute participants on entry” option can also be selected when scheduling the meeting. Let participants know that they have been muted upon entry and state expectations for how and when they should unmute themselves and participate.
You may wish to record a Zoom session, especially for participants who cannot attend or who don’t have a good internet connection.
Choose where to store the recording: You can either record a meeting and save it to Zoom Cloud or save the file to your computer. One reason to store to the cloud is if you want your media transcribed. See the “Transcripts and Captioning” section, below, for more on this.
In-meeting chat can be very useful during meetings, including as a participation channel for people who are working in noisy environments. There are just a few things to keep in mind.
There are creative ways to use the polling feature for participation during meetings or to survey participants. Hosts should keep these best practices in mind:
Breakout rooms can be used for small-group discussion and collaboration.
Some hosts find it helpful to review or share transcripts of Zoom sessions after the session is completed. Recorded sessions can also be captioned for later viewing.
ASL interpreters will need to join the call just like any other participant and share their video. Interpreters should have the Zoom application downloaded on their device before joining the call for best functionality. Interpreters do not need to log into Zoom with an Identikey.
Participants who wish to view the ASL interpreter should select “Pin Video” in the context menu (“...”), which is available by hovering over the interpreter’s video thumbnail. (Please note: Accessing the Pin Video feature currently requires the use of the mouse to hover. This issue is being reported to the vendor.)
Students registered with Disability Services can arrange for ASL interpreting through their access coordinator. All other individuals can contact the campus ADA office to request ASL interpreting.
For live captioning (or “real-time captioning”) provided by a person (not an automated service), there are two steps that are required in order to incorporate live captions into your Zoom session.
Students registered with Disability Services can arrange for live captioning through their access coordinator. All other individuals who need to arrange live captioning for an accommodation can contact the campus ADA office to request live captioning.
For questions or comments regarding accessibility in Zoom, please contact the Office of Information Technology at firstname.lastname@example.org.