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Live captions

Captions for live events or meetings are called live captions. These can either be provided by a live captioning service using human providers, or by using tools that support automated live captions, generated using automatic speech recognition. Each is described in more detail below.

For information about captioning recorded video, see our Captions page.

Outsourcing live captions

Live captions are required if they’re needed as an accommodation for audience members from the Deaf or Hard of Hearing community. At the UW, these services are coordinated through Disability Resources for Students on behalf of matriculated students who require accommodations, or through the Disability Services Office for employees or visitors to UW functions. Please contact either of these offices to learn how to request these services.

If you are organizing a large event, it is important to include language in the event announcement and, if applicable, on the registration form, informing people of how to request accommodations. For additional information, including recommended language, see the In Person Events & Trainings page on the Office of the ADA Coordinator website.

Automated live captions

Some software applications now have the ability to automatically generate captions of the person speaking.  For information about this feature in Zoom, see our Captions in Zoom page.

For information about this feature in other products, consult the documentation provided on the companies’ websites. For example:

Important: Automatic captions are not currently accurate enough to serve as an accommodation for people who depend on captions. For people who require an accommodation, see instructions above under Outsourcing Live Captions.

Also, beware of automated captioning solutions (such as those in PowerPoint and Google Slides) that cannot be turned off by students who find them distracting.