National Education Union
In a Nutshell
The National Education Union (NEU) was tasked with making its Zoom meetings more accessible to support its 450,000 members and teachers throughout the UK. The union’s team sought out a solution to meet the demand for Zoom captioning and transcription to virtually engage with NEU members during COVID-19’s push to remote meetings and online education. After an unsuccessful trial of other software solutions, both British Sign Language and Verbit’s AI software have now been implemented to ensure that all NEU members and their students have accessible content. Teachers and students have come to expect captions and transcripts in hybrid and online learning environments, and Verbit has enabled the NEU to meet these needs.
“Making sure that people have access is so important, and as such, you need people that you can rely on. My opinion is that Verbit has the best people to be able to do that.”
One of the biggest challenges across the UK involved addressing the issue of inclusion. With the shift to remote and hybrid learning environments, the NEU has undertaken the colossal challenge of helping teachers adapt to the new norm of teaching through video platforms like Zoom. Switching to video lessons heightened the complaints associated with the disability law in the UK, with many hard-of-hearing students left unable to partake in class. Not all students wanted British Sign Language (BSL) on their video calls, with many requesting transcripts and subtitles. After trialing Otter’s transcription service, a transcript error resulting in a misspelling of the NEU leader’s name caused reputational damage. The NEU needed a tool that was reliable, quick and accurate. This matter, combined with poor engagement levels, led leadership to seek out a new solution.
Verbit has now become “ingrained in the Union.” Verbit’s automatic speech recognition technology provides the basis for live captions in NEU Zoom calls, as well as speedy transcriptions.
- Wide accessibility: Transcriptions ensure compliance and inclusivity for all NEU meeting participants.
- Increased engagement: Interactive transcripts are being used by members for improved information retention.
- Customer service and guidance: A dedicated team supports the NEU’s needs.
- Improved accuracy: Human fact-checking provides NEU leadership with 99% accuracy for peace of mind.
A Trusted Provider
“We came across Verbit right from the start… Straight away, it was clearly the best product, most reliable, most accurate. It’s become ingrained in the Union.”
Inclusive Materials on a Mass Scale
“The biggest success has been engaging with our members on a massive scale to help them through the COVID crisis.”
Adapting to a New Normal
“The amount of people who use [Verbit’s] captioning software who don’t actually have accessibility needs [is surprising]. There’s a significant amount of people who request a transcript and subtitles for all of our calls… People do expect those things now and when we don’t have them, people complain.”
Raising awareness of accessibility issues
“All calls are made accessible through BSL and Verbit’s software. This has helped raise awareness to others that there are people who have accessibility issues.”
“It’s important to find a provider you can trust because providing accessibility is extremely important... We had a call with Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, and over 3,500 teachers, lecturers and support staff that had the Verbit software on it.”
About The National Education Union
The NEU makes up the largest teaching and staff support union in Europe. Its members include the vast majority of teachers and lecturers across the UK. Education professionals are provided with practical and emotional support to improve their working lives and meet the needs of the UK’s students. The NEU is a powerful and persuasive voice acting on behalf of its members to champion the rights of education professionals.