Live Captioning and Remote Transcription Services for Webex and Zoom meetings


In this article

Overview

Live captioning and remote transcription services deliver an inclusive experience for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, have autism, auditory processing disorder or other communication needs by providing direct access to spoken content in real time. These services may be required to provide equal access to students, instructors, staff and visitors during live classes, webinars, meetings, live streaming and virtual conferences.

Live captions and transcription services can be delivered to any web-enabled device or they may be integrated into live meetings using Webex or Zoom platforms. This document provides information and guidance on how to hire and integrate real-time live caption or transcription service into Webex and Zoom meetings.

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Description of services

Transcription service

Transcripts are plain text copies of audio and speech. In this service, a trained transcriber provides real-time transcription in clear English text. This form of communication access is commonly used by individuals with hearing loss or those who need additional support.

The transcriber can work in the classroom or remote meeting room. The recipient (commonly called "the reader") simultaneously sees the transcript using a standard Web browser on a mobile device, such as a laptop, tablet, smartphone, e-reader or integrated within Zoom or Webex.

A transcript can be easily printed or saved for later reference as a study tool or meeting documentation.

A remote transcriber may be integrated within a Webex and Zoom meeting or webinar.

Real-time live captioning/CART services

Captions are time- and audio-synced texts of audio and speech. Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is a service in which a CART-certified provider creates real-time live captioning at almost instantaneous speed. These captions can be displayed on a variety of devices and presentation methods, including mobile devices, PowerPoint presentations, in Webex and Zoom. 

Acquiring services

The University of Maryland (UMD) does not currently have a contract with third-party vendors for transcription or remote real-time live captioning/CART services. Live captioning and remote transcription services must be contracted for a fee.

Students with disabilities who require live captioning or transcription services as an accommodation need to contact the UMD Accessibility and Disability Service (ADS), Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services at dhhs@umd.edu. ADS will pay for the service and will work with instructors to implement them.

Employees with disabilities who require live captioning or transcription services as an accommodation need to contact their supervisors, faculty@umd.edu (faculty) or umdleave@umd.edu (staff).

UMD units and departments seeking to provide live captioning or remote transcription services for department-sponsored webinars, virtual conferences, live streaming or live online meetings, must identify a company or third-party vendor who will provide the service and integrate the service into Webex or Zoom. Units or departments wishing to hire services may choose the following options:

  1. Contract service for a fee through UMD ADS Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS).
    • Complete the DHHS one time service request form. While 1-2 weeks notice is preferred, DHHS can often establish remote services with less notice.
    • Cost depends on what provider or agency is assigned. Contact dhhs@umd.edu for a price estimate.
  2. Contract service independently. Below is a list of third-party vendors that provide real-time live captioning services. This is not an official endorsement, but we hope this list can be valuable to those who want to use live caption for their live meetings and webinars.

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Integrating services into Webex and Zoom

Webex integration

Learn how to enable closed captions in Webex.

Live captions can be streamed directly through one of the Webex panels, which eliminates the need for a separate window. Open the Share Multimedia window (under Share menu), to add the captioning provider link. This streams the captions directly through the Multimedia Viewer panel. The student can still hide the header and chat window as needed.

Zoom integration

From a desktop, you may assign a participant (transcriber or CART provider) to type closed captions in Zoom meeting settings.

Learn how to integrate a third-party closed captioning service.

For further learning, read Getting Started with Closed Captioning and Viewing Closed Captions.

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Support

Contact itaccessibility@umd.edu for questions or assistance.

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