Video Conferencing - Making Zoom Accessible


Zoom is a versatile video conferencing tool that unifies cloud video conferencing, simple online meetings, group messaging, and a software-defined conference room solution into one easy-to-use platform. You can host and join Zoom video conferences from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. 

The Zoom Help Center has full instructions on using Zoom. The instructions below are specific to Virginia Tech. To see other Zoom topics, please see Video Conferencing - Holding Zoom Conferences on a PC or Mobile Device.

This article details how to utilize Accessibility Settings within Zoom

Zoom has features that let those with health conditions or impairments, attend, and participate in Zoom Meetings. For more, see Accessibility Features on Zoom and Changing settings in the desktop client/mobile app.



Zoom Closed Captioning and Live Transcription

Zoom has free automatic speech recognition (ASR) closed captioning and live transcription for meetings.

  • Only Hosts can enable Zoom closed captions and live transcripts.
  • All participants can view closed captions and live transcripts.
  • Hosts can control whether to display closed captions only or a live transcript. 
  • Hosts can disable live transcript download. 
  • Participants can choose to show or hide closed captions. 
  • Closed captions and live transcripts are not saved to Zoom recordings on the Zoom cloud or in My Media in Canvas. 

See also:

Enabling Closed Caption and Live Transcript in Settings

Hosts control closed captioning settings at the account level. The below settings are enabled by default, but hosts can disable them. 

Go to the Virginia Tech Zoom Portal and log in. Click Settings then In Meeting (Advanced).

  1. Under Full transcript, enable Allow viewing of full transcript in the in-meeting side panel.
    • If live transcription is disabled, participants will only see closed captions at the bottom of the screen. 
  2. Under Save Captions, enable Allow participants to save fully closed captions or transcripts.
    • If saving transcripts is disabled, participants won't see the button do download them. 

Starting Closed Captions and Live Transcripts

  1. During the meeting click Show Captions
    Image of the above instructions
    • You can also assign someone in the meeting to type captions using the arrow next to the Show/Hide Captions button. 
    • If your meeting has professional captioning, Copy the API token and follow the any instructions provided by the captioning service. 
      Image of the above instructions
  2. Closed captions will appear at the bottom of the screen for all participants. 
    • To show and download a live transcript, click the arrow next to Hide Captions, then click on View Full Transcript

      Image of the above instructions

    • To hide the transcript, click on More > Captions, then Close Full Transcript.
      Image of the above instructions

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American Sign Language Interpretation

If American Sign Language interpretation is specifically requested, please refer to the list of regional or state resource listings.

Also see: Accessible Technologies: Closed Captioning

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Transcripts of Recordings

Meetings saved to the Zoom cloud appear in My Media in Canvas. Zoom cloud recordings are removed after 30 days. So, we suggest you caption any recordings in My Media

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Keyboard Shortcuts

For a list of Windows and Mac keyboard shortcuts available during Zoom Meetings:

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Always Show Meeting Controls

You can prevent the meeting control bar at the bottom of meeting screens from auto-hiding. 

  1. Open and log into the Zoom client.
  2. Click Settings -> General.
  3. Click Always show meeting controls.
    Image of the above instructions

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Playing a Sound When Participants Join or Leave Meetings

You can configure your account to enable sounds to play when people join or leave your meetings. 

  1. Log into the Virginia Tech Zoom Portal.
  2. Click Settings from the left menu.
  3. Under In Meeting (Basic), click the toggle next to Play sound when participants join or leave. Choose whether the sound will be heard by you or by all attendees. 

    Image of the above instructions

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Getting Help

For instructions on resolving common issues with Zoom, see: Video Conferencing - Troubleshooting Zoom.

For problems logging into Zoom, contact Virginia Tech 4Help:
  • Go to 4Help, log in with your Virginia Tech Username (PID) and password, and click Get Help.
  • Call 540-231-4357.

For problems using Zoom, contact Zoom Support:

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