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How to use accessibility features on Zoom

We look at how to make meetings as accessible as possible when using Zoom.

A meeting on Zoom
A meeting on Zoom. Source: Zoom

Automated captions

These are captions (also known as subtitles) that translate spoken language into text automatically through a software.

How to switch automated captions on as a participant

Select CC in meeting controls.

How to switch automated captions on as a meeting host

To turn automated captions on in the browser version of Zoom:

  1. Go to the Zoom website
  2. Sign in
  3. Select “Account Management”
  4. Select “Account Settings”
  5. In Meeting (Advanced), select the toggle switch by ‘Closed captioning’.

You can’t turn automation captions on any versions of the Zoom app. However, if you follow the steps above in a browser (make sure you’re not redirected to the app), captions will then be turned on when you next us the Zoom app you have installed on your device.


Automated transcript

This a written transcript that’s recorded from the audio of your meeting automatically through a speech-to-text software.

How to switch automated transcript on

An automated transcript can only be switched on by a meeting host.

  1. Go to the Zoom website
  2. Sign in
  3. Select “Account Management”
  4. Select “Account Settings”
  5. In Meeting (Advanced), select ‘Allow viewing of full transcript’ in the in-meeting side panel.

To generate a transcript, start a cloud recording. Read more about cloud recordings on the Zoom website

How to save an automated transcript

Transcripts can only be saved by the meeting host.

After the meeting ends, you’ll receive an email that lets you know that your cloud recording is available.

A short time later, you’ll also receive a separate email letting you know that the audio transcript for the recording is available.

These emails include links to view your recordings and transcript.

How to share an automated transcript

Transcripts can only be shared by the meeting host.

Audio transcripts are saved in VTT format. If you download the VTT file, you can open it with a text editor or word processing application. You can also view or edit transcripts in the web portal.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal
  2. In the navigation menu, click Recordings
  3. Click the name of the recorded meeting. You’ll see a list of recording files
  4. Click the play icon
    The text of the transcript displays on the right-hand side of the video
  5. Hover over a phrase you want to edit and click the pencil icon. Note: If a phrase belongs to an unknown speaker, you can also hover over Unknown Speaker and click the pencil icon to edit the name
  6. Make any changes to the text, then click the check mark
  7. The updated version of the text is displayed when you play the audio or video file.

The transcript is automatically embedded within the audio and video file, but is hidden by default.

To see the transcript in the audio or video file:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Recordings
  3. Click the name of the recorded meeting
    You will see a list of recording files
  4. Click the play icon.
  5. Click the CC icon at the bottom right of the screen
  6. The text displays on top of the video, similar to closed captioning.


How to add a speech-to-text reporter

A speech-to-text reporter is someone who types everything that’s said in a meeting, word-for-word.

A speech-to-text reporter can only be added by the meeting host.

  1. Go to the Zoom website
  2. Sign in. 
  3. Select “Account Management” 
  4. Select “Account Settings”
  5. In Meeting (Advanced), select ‘allow use of caption API Token to integrate with 3rd-party Closed Captioning services’.

How to add a notetaker

A notetaker can only be added by the meeting host.

  1. Send the meeting invite to the notetaker 
  2. Before starting the meeting you should let everyone knows there is a notetaker present. 

Using a BSL interpreter

A British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter helps deaf and hearing people communicate with one another.

How to add a BSL interpreter

A BSL interpreter can only be added by the meeting host.

  1. Send the meeting invite to the BSL interpreter
  2. Before starting the meeting, make sure the people who need to see the BSL interpreter can pin the interpreter.

How to pin a BSL interpreter

  1. Tap Manage Participants on the Zoom Room Controller
  2. Tap the Host or Participant’s name and then tap Pin or Spotlight Video
  3. If you have multiple screens in your Zoom Room, you can choose which screen to pin the video to.

How to change audio output for hearing aids, cochlear implant or assistive technology

When joining a meeting, you’ll be asked to join with computer audio. Any assistive device or hearing aid connected to the device will then be automatically used as the audio output for the call.  

If you want to change the audio output during a call:

  1. From the navigation panel, select Account Management
  2. Account Settings
  3. Click the Meeting tab
  4. To enable Audio type, click the audio option that you want to use
  5. Click Save.

Recording

Meetings aren’t recorded by default but you can start a recording at any point during a meeting. Find out how to record a meeting on the Zoom support website.

How to make sure your recording has subtitles and a BSL interpreter

Only the meeting host can do this.

Make sure you have the interpreter/s pinned and captions on during recording.

How to save or share a recording

The recording will be saved in your chosen location automatically. You will get an email when it is available and ready to be shared.


If you have issues using Zoom, you can read information or use live chat on the Zoom Support website.