Guide: Captioning Options for Live Meetings


  • How do I provide captions when working with a deaf of hard of hearing person?
  • How can I provide captions in Zoom or MS Teams?


  • Oregon State University
  • OSU Employees holding 1:1 web-based meetings
  • OSU Students
  • Zoom
  • MS Teams


In a remote work setting, we find ourselves leveraging Zoom or Microsoft Teams for meetings or events. Providing text during a video meeting may be needed for a variety of reasons, such as:


Option 1: Disability Access Services (DAS) for Captioning or Transcribing Support

DAS provides accommodations, education, consultation and advocacy for qualified students with disabilities at Oregon State University. DAS works with students at OSU, OSU-Cascades, across Oregon and around the world through the OSU E-campus program. This option involves a person who can help provide transcribing or captioning services and is highly recommended given the degree of accuracy afforded with this method.


  • Real-Time Transcribing: Real-time transcribing is a method of using specialized software to convert spoken language into text onto any device with a web browser and internet access.
  • Real-Time Captioning: Real-Time captioning (CART) is a method of converting spoken language into visual text onto a laptop computer screen. Specialized software and stenography equipment are used in this conversion process.

Here's how:

  1. Requesting Service
  2. DAS will review Custom Requests within 48 hours and follow-up with requestor to make arrangements which will involve sharing of the link to the transcribers and captioner.
  3. Students will need to have the Zoom or Teams meeting, plus the transcription or caption URL during the event.



Option 2: Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams offers “Live Captions” that provides digitally generated captions during a meeting.

Microsoft only saves the caption data for 30 minutes. If you require the captioning to be saved, we recommend accessing DAS captioning services.

(Please Note: Captioning is not available in an audio or video call, only available in Teams meeting – which can include audio and video connections).

Here’s how:

  1. Schedule Teams meeting
  2. Join the Teams meeting
  3. Select “More Actions”
  4. Select “Turn on live captions (preview)”
  5. Captioning will show at the bottom of the Teams window. Does not distinguish between speakers. Best for one-on-one conversations.
  6. More tips available from Microsoft Support.



Option 3: Zoom

Closed captioning feature with Zoom allows you or another meeting attendee, assigned by the host, to manually add closed captioning in a meeting. In a webinar, closed captioning can be typed by the host, co-host, or a panelist assigned by the host. You can type the closed captions directly via Zoom or you can integrate a third party service.

Zoom also now has automative Live Transcription (closed captioning) available in English that is available to OSU Zoom users.

Here’s how:

  1. Used in combination with the DAS Services identified in Option 1 listed above. Enable Captioning in Zoom.
  2. Digital live captions; Zoom now has automatic Live Transcription (closed captioning) available in English. Once enabled, this automatically adds text to the bottom of the video with what the host and others are saying. Learn more here.



Additional considerations:

  • From “Designing and Teaching an Effective Remote Course (ORG_7662)”. Module 7 in specific speaks to accessibility and universal design.

Even if you don't have a student with hearing difficulties in your class, captions can be quite helpful to other students.  Students for whom English is not their primary language, students with certain cognitive challenges, and students watching your videos in noisy environments can all benefit by the addition of captioning.  Kaltura. has a built-in option to request auto-generating captions  that you can then edit  for clarity. Kaltura is accessible through MediaSpace and Canvas. While the auto-generated captions are typically good, you should always check them for accuracy - auto-generated captions alone are not considered to meet accessibility guidelines.

  • Digital Accessibility Quick Tips for Remote and Online Environments (PDF)
  • Technical Considerations:
    • Reliable internet connection for all users
    • Speaker is at most 12-inches from the microphone, or uses an additional bluetooth microphone.
  • Speech-to-text application considerations:
    • Hard of hearing and all other participants should use the same application.
    • Speaker should wear a quality microphone, speak clearly and pause periodically.
    • Background noise must be kept to a minimum.
    • Capture quality: depending upon the application, punctuation and misspellings may occur, the hard of hearing individual and/or speaker may need to fill in gaps where errors occur. Some applications may also censor specific words (such as swear words). Most applications are unable to correctly spell uncommon or scientific words.
    • If transcripts are automatically saved, address any FERPA or HIPAA compliance measures.

See these additional KB articles for recorded sessions:



Article ID: 112294
Tue 7/21/20 10:10 AM
Wed 1/20/21 4:27 PM