Boost Accessibility with GoToMeeting Closed Captions

By: Verbit Editorial



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Like some other popular virtual meeting platforms, GoToMeeting has seen staggering amounts of growth over the last few years. In fact, current usage of the platform is roughly 50 times higher than it was in 2017. With so many people turning to software like GoToMeeting for important business communications, it’s crucial that business leaders consider whether these virtual platforms are sufficiently inclusive of all employees.

The reality is that, while virtual conferencing platforms are convenient for some, they can pose major accessibility issues for others. For example, it can be difficult for employees who are Deaf or hard of hearing to fully engage during meetings that happen via live video conferencing apps. One way to improve the accessibility of these business discussions is to offer GoToMeeting closed captioning of conversations that take place on the platform.  

What is Closed Captioning? 

Captioning refers to the process of converting audio to on-screen text. Captions contain a written account of the speech and other audio elements of a piece of video content. These captions typically appear on the same screen as the video, but users can also display them on a separate monitor nearby. Captions are an incredibly valuable resource for those who are Deaf or hard of hearing because it makes it possible for those audience members to follow along in real time.  

There are two common styles of captioning: open captioning and closed captioning. Open captions are captions that permanently appear on-screen during a video. They are sometimes referred to as “burned-in” or “baked-on” because users cannot turn them on and off at will. On the other hand, users can enable or disable closed captions at any point. Using an on-screen [cc] button or via remote control, viewers can easily turn these on and off. 

woman working on her laptop on a wooden table

Does GoToMeeting Have Closed Captioning?

For users looking to support their meetings with closed captioning, GoToMeeting offers some built-in captioning capabilities. Users can use GoToMeeting’s Smart Meeting Assistant to enable automatic transcription of their meeting recordings. GoToMeeting uses a form of Automatic Speech Recognition technology to convert speech to text and automatically generate an interactive transcript from meeting recordings. This transcript then helps captioners create on-screen captions that users can enable when viewing a recording of the meeting. 

It’s important to note that this GoToMeeting transcription feature is only available for recordings of meetings, and does not support GoToMeeting live closed captioning. Because of this, any attendee who is Deaf or hard of hearing will not be able to fully participate in real time. Instead, these individuals have to wait to access the captions after the meeting concludes.

Furthermore, when ASR technology generates captions and transcripts, the results tend to contain a significant number of errors. Videos that contain inaccurate captions often fail to offer equitable viewing experiences for those who are Deaf or hard of hearing. These inaccuracies also compromise the overall efficacy of a video’s messaging and do not sufficiently support key accessibility guidelines like the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

How to Add Accurate Captions in GoToMeeting

Those looking for a more accurate GoToMeeting captioning solution should consider partnering with professional transcription services like Verbit. Verbit uses a dual approach to transcription that allows users to generate a high volume of transcripts with accuracy rates of up to 99%. 

If you’re looking to add accurate captions to an existing meeting recording, simply upload the video to Verbit’s platform. From there, Verbit will generate an initial transcript using an advanced form of artificial intelligence. Verbit’s professional human transcribers will then review and edit the transcript to ensure optimal accuracy. Finally, Verbit can use that transcript to create closed captions that users can download in a number of popular file formats. Additionally, Verbit’s transcription services for GoToMeeting make it possible for users to bulk-upload an assortment of existing meeting recordings. The final accurate caption files can be available in as little as four hours.

Those looking for a live captioning solution can also turn to Verbit. Verbit’s platform offers many seamless software integrations that make it possible for business leaders to caption their GoToMeeting calls in real time. The captions and transcripts that users generate during live meetings also undergo review and editing by professionals after a meeting concludes. This step helps ensure the final caption file achieves a high level of accuracy. 

Who Benefits from Closed Captioning? 

Clearly, captions can support employees who are Deaf or hard of hearing. However, the benefits don’t stop there. For example, captions are also a valuable tool for team members with ADHD or auditory processing disorders. 

Captions can also improve the viewing experience of team members who are tuning in remotely. Those working from home may be subject to certain environmental distractions, but captioning meetings can help safeguard against noisy interruptions. Audio quality and internet connectivity can also pose challenges during live video chats. Offering captions and transcripts can help to ensure the message gets across even if there is a temporary lapse in audio quality. 

Some business leaders may also want to post certain meeting recordings on social media or video sharing platforms. Captioning these videos is a proven way to increase engagement and overall watch time. In fact, 80% of consumers say they are more likely to watch a video to completion if it includes captions. This is likely due to the fact that as many as 85% of individuals watch video content with the sound off. If you’re looking to incorporate content from meetings, interviews and lectures into your marketing efforts, captioning videos is an effective means of maximizing the value of your content.  

Modern Accessibility Solutions from Verbit 

As modern workplaces continue to evolve, business leaders can set their teams up for success by embracing the technology and resources available to them. Video conferencing platforms like GoToMeeting have revolutionized the ways we work and communicate. As businesses become increasingly dependent upon these new forms of communication, they can take steps to ensure that no team member, client or community member gets left behind.

In addition to their GoToMeeting transcription services, Verbit offers a full suite of accessibility technology like captioning, transcription, audio description and translation to support the constantly evolving needs of modern workplaces. Verbit offers optimized workflows and seamless integrations that can help businesses easily scale their accessibility and outreach initiatives. Reach out today to learn more about how Verbit’s industry-leading technology solutions are helping business leaders around the world streamline their communications and foster inclusivity.