Our ZOOM enterprise license at the University of Denver now provides computer generated real-time closed captions and transcripts. This is a “beta” service.  This improves the accessibility and user experience for all ZOOM meeting/webinar participants.  Here are a few tips for the various people participating in ZOOM events.

As the ZOOM host

Here are a few tips:

  • Turn on ZOOM real-time Closed Captions, only the ZOOM host can activate closed captions for everyone in the meeting/webinar.
  • Inform the audience that live Closed Captions & Live Transcript have been turned on but they are not 100% accurate. 
  • Inform the audience that live captions currently do not work within breakout rooms. Only the main ZOOM room supports closed captions.
  • Closed captions are available on ZOOM iPhone and Android phones but live transcript is not. 

If a human captioner is needed, contact the DU The Office of Equal Opportunity

As the ZOOM presenter

Here are a few tips:

  • Always present with the assumption that a person in the audience has low vision, blindness, a learning disability (dyslexia, etc), hard of hearing, deaf or experience comorbidity (multiple disabilities).
  • Describe your slides and read your text out loud. Reading your text will ensure that auto closed captions will capture the content on your slides. If your slides include a lot of information, zoom-in to improve visibility. Consider converting your PowerPoint slides into a PDF in order to zoom-in. 
  • When possible, make your presentation available to your audience ahead of time so those with screen readers have a chance to review them prior to your presentation.
  • If you are showing a video, please have your video captioned in advance of the presentation. If that’s not possible, make sure that “share computer sound” is turned on so that ZOOM live closed captions can work with the video narration.
  • Avoid the use of the color red to convey messages.  For those who are color blind, that may not be visible to them. 
  • Use contrasting colors with your slides.
  • If there are images in your PowerPoint presentation and your sharing your slides with the audience later, please add “alt text” to each image
  • If you are using PowerPoint or Apple Keynote, show slides in a window and not full screen.
  • Use a good quality microphone and record in a quiet room to improve caption quality.
  • Avoid talking over people, wait two seconds before each speaker, this will improve the transcript.
  • If multiple speakers are talking, each speaker should introduce themselves.
  • Use the ZOOM annotation tools to point, circle or draw on your screen to improve attention and visibility of important content.
  • Avoid describing a location in a Powerpoint slide by saying “over there”, “right here”, and instead say “at the top right” “the bottom left” etc.

As the ZOOM participant

Here are a few tips:

  • Ask the ZOOM host to please turn on ZOOM closed captions.
  • ZOOM closed captions font can be enlarged by selecting Video Settings -> Accessibility.
  • ZOOM closed captions box can be moved around the screen to improve visibility.
  • Under the CC button in ZOOM, click on Full Live Transcript to be able to review the full transcript.

As the video editor and publisher

Here are a few tips:

  • If you are editing the recorded video, zoom-in to increase the slide visibility if the slide is difficult to view.
  • Add additional large text or graphics to improve visibility and understanding.
  • Improve audio quality if possible.
  • Post your video to be shared on ZOOM, Kaltura DU MediaSpace or YouTube, all these players support accessibility keyboard controls. 
  • ZOOM, DU MediaSpace and YouTube support an interactive transcript. This feature allows users to scroll and search for text in the transcript.
  • Examine auto closed captions quality, make any corrections using the closed caption editor tools built with ZOOM, Kaltura DU MediaSpace or YouTube. Accuracy with captions should be 95% or better. 
  • Add in speaker and descriptive captions to help the audience know who is talking and what is happening.
  • If you use a professional closed caption service, upload the .SRT or .VTT files to YouTube or Kaltura DU MediaSpace along with the video.
  • Avoid “burning-in” subtitles if your video is intended to be played on YouTube or Kaltura because subtitles can not be displayed on the interactive transcript, and may not be compatible with some assistive technology.
  • After publishing, test the video on desktop and mobile devices.
  • NOTE: The built-in Canvas video feature does not support auto closed captions but you can upload a .SRT or .VTT file. 
YouTube and DU MediaSpace support closed-caption customization and interactive transcript. A viewer can increase the size and font style.

Additional Resources

How do I add captions to new or uploaded videos in the Rich Content Editor in Canvas as an instructor?

ZOOM @ DU Closed captioning and live transcription

ZOOM Support: Closed captioning and live transcription

Kaltura @ DU Editing Closed Captions

How Do You Make Video Accessible?