Zoom captioning updates 

The Zoom captioning feature (also known as Live Transcription) is useful for lots of students, in particular those with hearing loss or for non-native English speakers. Zoom has recently made updates to its captioning feature to make the platform more accessible and user-friendly. 

Update 1: Saving time – the host no longer needs to enable captions 

Previously, participants needed to request permission from the host to view transcripts or captions, but now anyone can turn on automatic captions during a Zoom meeting without requiring the host’s approval. 

Participants can now download a copy of the transcript by default, and the Save Captions setting can be turned on in the Zoom Settings, In Meeting Advanced section. 

Update 2: Clarified terminology, it’s now called ‘captions’ 

Zoom has replaced the term ‘Subtitles’ with ‘Captions’ to ensure consistency in the platform’s terminology, so it’s less confusing. 

Update 3: Available everywhere, even breakout rooms 

Captions are also now available for participants in breakout rooms. Previously they were only available in the main room. This is a huge improvement, allowing students to access captions while doing group activities in breakout rooms. 

These updates are a positive step towards creating a more inclusive and accessible learning environment for all Zoom users. For more information or to refresh your memory, you can check the updated zoom caption resource here.

Other accessibility updates and reminders

Reminder: Accessibility role in Canvas  

In case you missed it, since last Summer session a new Accessibility Support role has been created for notetakers or accessibility assistants. This role will provide access to subject materials and resources, H5P activities, discussions, announcements, subject outlines, Kaltura videos, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. The new role will replace the previous workaround that added notetakers as students under their staff ID, which often caused confusion. Learn more about the Accessibility Support Role in canvas from this blog post. 

New Access and Inclusion Policy 

The Accessibility and Inclusion Policy is a new policy designed to provide an inclusive environment for students and staff living with a disability. Read about principles, support and responsibilities in the Accessibility and Inclusion Policy.

New: Accessible online collaboration 

We reviewed the 4 most commonly used online collaboration tools for accessibility: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Whiteboard, Google Jamboard, and Miro. We provided tips on how to make your collaborative activities more accessible. While these tools are typically used for brainstorming and idea generating, it is essential to ensure that all students can participate in this process to foster belonging, understanding of content, and essential work and study skills. Check out the Accessible Online Collaboration blog post for tips on how to make your collaborative activities more accessible.

Reminder: LX inclusive practices support via ServiceConnect 

We can help you make your subject more accessible – you can book a consultation or seek advice through the Inclusive Practice Support tile available on ServiceConnect. Our team can offer assistance regarding access requirements for specific students in your class, as well as provide general advice on inclusive practices. 

Reminder: LX Resources 

The LX.lab provides online resource collections covering various accessibility topics: 

  • Inclusive and accessible practices can assist you in creating accessible learning materials and facilitating inclusive classrooms. If you are new to accessibility practices, this is an excellent resource to begin with. 
  • Reasonable adjustments and alternative assessments can prepare you to support students with accessibility requirements in your subject. It is a valuable resource to consult if you receive notification from Accessibility Services about a student in your class with specific accessibility needs. 

Feature image by Johannes Plenio.

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