There are a variety of ways you can provide live ("real-time") captions for your synchronous meeting or presentation.

A note on captioning quality:

Per our campus digital accessibility standards, human-created live captions are required for any public live-streamed events and for events where an accommodation request has been received from a student, employee, or member of the public. If you receive an accommodation request from a student registered with Disability Services, please request real-time captioning from Disability Services. Otherwise, you can request live captioning from the ADA office.

If registration for a live-streamed event is required and access is limited to registrants only, then live captioning is not required but still encouraged. In the registration form, there should be a way for attendees to indicate whether they need any accommodations including live captioning, and it should be noted that live captioning and ASL interpreting are available upon request. Automated live captioning tools are not sufficiently accurate to use for captioning public live-streamed events or to fulfill an accommodation request.

Live Captioning Options

  1. Using a Vendor
    Manually-created live captioning provided by a human vendor is the most accurate option for live captioning an event. This paid service will be funded by the department (unless there is a captioning accommodation request).

  2. Zoom
    Consult our guide on enabling live automated captions in Zoom to get started.

  3. PowerPoint
    You can enable live captions in PowerPoint.

    This service also supports live translation. These captions appear on the presenter’s screen. In order to share these captions with participants, the presenter will need to share their screen through the video conferencing tool.

    We recommend making sure that the captions are set to display “Below Slide” in the Subtitle Settings menu to ensure that they do not obscure the content of your slides.
    Subtitle Settings menu with "Below Slide" selected

  4. Google Slides
    You can enable automated live captions in Google Slides. Like PowerPoint, the presenter will need to share their screen for attendees to view the captions.

  5. Microsoft Translator
    The Microsoft Translator tool allows attendees to join a conversation on their device and view live automated captions or a translation into another language. Using this tool means that the captions don’t have to be displayed when sharing your screen like they have to with PowerPoint or Google Slides. Instead, attendees view the captions on their own device by going to the Translator website and joining the conversation with the code you provide. 

  6. Microsoft Teams
    You can enable automated live captions in Microsoft Teams meetings.

  7. Google Hangouts
    You can enable automated live captions in Google Hangouts.

  8. Google Chrome
    The Google Chrome browser now offers machine-generated captions that can be displayed for any audio played in the browser. Please consult the instructions on enabling automated captioning in Google Chrome.