The global video conferencing market is estimated to reach $6.03 billion by the end of 2021.

With video conferencing software becoming a critical tool for institutions and businesses across the US, professionals and educators alike are keeping up with the newest accessibility tools that are available, especially in the conferencing and distance learning platform Zoom.

Professionals who take advantage of Zoom’s key benefits should also be aware of important considerations like implementing accessibility features, including live closed captioning and transcription.

Auto-Captioning Concerns in Zoom

Zoom recently released its auto-captioning feature to all accounts, including those that are using the free subscription. While many disability advocates are celebrating this news across social media, there are still some concerns when it comes to the quality of their captioning software. Zoom’s auto-captioning can be effective for providing accessibility in last-minute or emergency situations, but users should be aware of these factors:

  • Accuracy: Auto-captioning alone might seem great to the untrained eye, but it’s generally not good enough for situations where there’s more than one speaker, when someone with an accent is speaking or if it’s being streamed in a noisy area. These factors can cause the speech to text technology to make mistakes, lowering the overall accuracy level of the captions.
  • Legal Implications: Schools and businesses serve a diverse employee and customer base, and are likely to need to provide accommodations like captioning. However, it’s crucial to provide effective communication to adhere to ADA guidelines – providing professional captions like those offered by Verbit are only able to meet this need.
  • Cost: Zoom’s auto-captioning is free, but the costs of using these alone might be greater – poor captioning results can lead to costly legal problems, damage your brand reputation and lead to more time and money spent on fixing poor captioning results.

The Value of Using Third Party Closed Captioning for Zoom

Zoom meeting

For businesses and institutions that are looking to improve their accessibility, consider using Zoom 3rd party closed captioning tools. Professional speech to text solutions like Verbit’s offer benefits:

  • Ease of Use: 3rd party captioning solutions often provide more flexibility and customization options to Zoom users. For example, Verbit’s live captioning solution also allows viewers to take notes and use an interactive transcript during live sessions.
  • Better Accessibility: Providers specializing in video accessibility have the advanced speech technologies needed to provide highly accurate results. Better captioning will ensure greater access for audience members who may or may not have a hearing-related disability.
  • Greater Audience Engagement: High quality captions that come from professional captioning solutions are known to increase engagement levels and improve comprehension outcomes

Zoom Closed Captioning: How It Works

For professionals that are looking to implement a 3rd party CC service for Zoom, it’s useful to evaluate the different ways that providers have implemented this solution. Here’s how the 3rd party closed captioning service for Zoom works when using Verbit:

AI Live Captioning

When implementing live captioning for Zoom, providers like Verbit offer the ability to connect an AI captioning solution to live sessions. The speech to text technology is able to ‘listen’ to the audio and instantly produce captions for the audience. 

The live automatic captioning offered by Verbit uses a professional transcriber who edits the results in real-time for greater accuracy. Once captions are edited, the captions are sent directly to the closed captioning feed within Zoom. Users can also make copies of the transcription from the event for later use, such as to send a copy of the transcript to attendees and for creating gated content for marketing purposes.

Live Captioner Solution

For educational institutions, Communication Access Real-Time Translation (CART) solutions that use live captioners are best used for content lectures and classroom discussions. When using this solution, the provider sends a live captioner to connect to the live Zoom session. Once connected, the professional captioner is able to listen to the audio and caption all speech in real-time. 

Live captioning solutions like Verbit’s also offer National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) captioners to ensure greater accuracy rates. Once the captioners write the captions, the results are sent to the desired captioning output within seconds, in this case directly to the closed captioning feed within Zoom.

The Future of Video Conferencing

Whether you’re using Zoom’s auto-captioning solution or a 3rd party provider like Verbit, it’s clear that live speech to text tools help professionals, event attendees and viewers participate effectively in real time. Live web conferencing tools will be key to helping meet evolving accessibility needs so that individuals are provided with equal opportunities to participate and thrive in real-time.In addition to live captioning tools, Verbit provides useful video accessibility services and tools like post-captioning, audio description and ai transcription. For more information on how Verbit’s 3rd party closed captioning service can help meet your organizations’ video conferencing needs, reach out.