Captioning Zoom Meetings

Posted by asklar02492 @asklar02492, Sep 25 10:50am

I belong to a local book group, and provide the Zoom connection with a Zoom Pro plan on a Microsoft computer. I would like to have the meetings captioned, either for free or for low cost, from an outside service. Is this a reasonable option? Has anyone tried it or found any good information about it? Thanks.

@asklar02492 I use so the people put it on for me Just have to put on meeting code and passcode I belong to Partners Community Wellness program Partners in care foundation

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I'm tagging @julieo4 in this discussion. She has been having discussions with Zoom about auto-captioning. I'm really hoping that this gets released soon. Any updates on that, Julie?

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HLAA National and many HLAA Chapters are using Zoom with 'CART', which stands for Computer Assisted Realtime Translation. It is done by a stenographer, who is generally trained as a court reporter. It is verbatim. It is far better than speech to text auto captions, but it's expensive. HLAA has been in contact with Zoom, as have many HLAA members from all parts of the country, with an appeal to include speech to text captions. So far they have not done this, but we have been led to believe that this is coming. Google Suite/Google Meet provides speech to text auto captions. It is better than nothing, but like many apps you can get on your smartphone, it makes errors. Most of us with hearing loss are pretty good at guessing! We can usually figure out those errors if we are tuned in to the context of what is being said.

One problematic issue with captioning and CART provision, is that is a limited number of people who can provide the service. For on site meetings, it often means someone has to travel a good distance to do on site captioning. On the other hand, with video conferencing, the captioner simply has to sign in wherever they are.

Captioning should be provided as an accommodation at public events far more than it is. It's not, because people don't ask for it. If they do ask for it, they need to know where a provider can be found. CART is just as much an accommodation as is American Sign Language. If more people were aware that it is a legitimate communication access request, and made the effort to ask for it, more providers would be trained and people would know this is possible.

Back to Zoom. I hope it will be provided in the future, but to get it on Zoom at this time, you will have to find a way to cover the cost and also find a provider. I've also heard there may be an app that be connected to a computer on Zoom that can provide speech to text. Maybe someone else can fill us in on that.

There is an alternative if someone who is a good listener is also an excellent typist. Anyone can be assigned by the host of a Zoom meeting to type a summary as conversation takes place. A summary is not verbatim, however.

Let's all let Zoom know we need this provision.

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@julieo4

HLAA National and many HLAA Chapters are using Zoom with 'CART', which stands for Computer Assisted Realtime Translation. It is done by a stenographer, who is generally trained as a court reporter. It is verbatim. It is far better than speech to text auto captions, but it's expensive. HLAA has been in contact with Zoom, as have many HLAA members from all parts of the country, with an appeal to include speech to text captions. So far they have not done this, but we have been led to believe that this is coming. Google Suite/Google Meet provides speech to text auto captions. It is better than nothing, but like many apps you can get on your smartphone, it makes errors. Most of us with hearing loss are pretty good at guessing! We can usually figure out those errors if we are tuned in to the context of what is being said.

One problematic issue with captioning and CART provision, is that is a limited number of people who can provide the service. For on site meetings, it often means someone has to travel a good distance to do on site captioning. On the other hand, with video conferencing, the captioner simply has to sign in wherever they are.

Captioning should be provided as an accommodation at public events far more than it is. It's not, because people don't ask for it. If they do ask for it, they need to know where a provider can be found. CART is just as much an accommodation as is American Sign Language. If more people were aware that it is a legitimate communication access request, and made the effort to ask for it, more providers would be trained and people would know this is possible.

Back to Zoom. I hope it will be provided in the future, but to get it on Zoom at this time, you will have to find a way to cover the cost and also find a provider. I've also heard there may be an app that be connected to a computer on Zoom that can provide speech to text. Maybe someone else can fill us in on that.

There is an alternative if someone who is a good listener is also an excellent typist. Anyone can be assigned by the host of a Zoom meeting to type a summary as conversation takes place. A summary is not verbatim, however.

Let's all let Zoom know we need this provision.

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Thanks, @julieo4. I will certainly write to Zoom and tweet them on Twitter. Here's their Twitter account https://twitter.com/zoom_us

@tonyinmi, any knowledge about an app compatible with Zoom that transcribes speech to text simultaneously?

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Adding to Julie's comment, another speech to text option for Zoom is Otter. There is a cost associated, but it still is an automatic captioning. It works well when people utilize clear speech. Some people with hearing loss do not have clear speech. I do not recommend automatic captions if the audience has anyone with a speech impediment. Real time translation is the absolute best option, provided it comes from a person trained as a court reporter with the additional training required for providing CART. I believe the average cost for CART is about $125 per hour, about the same as an interpreter for the Deaf. When you host a Zoom meeting, the CART writer is invited to the meeting as any other attendee and provides the captions from the comfort of their home.
As a side note, CART is also an acronym for Communication Access Realtime Translation, which I always use.
Tony in Michigan

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Thanks for all the replies. I think I'm coming to the conclusion that I'll wait to see if anything develops directly through Zoom as my technical skills are not great and I wouldn't be able to convince my book group to spend money. If nothing comes on over the next few months, I'll take a look at Otter. Thanks very much to everyone for the information! Ann

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