Captioning for Your Online Event

— 2 minute read

Are you providing live captions for your online event?

These days, you more than likely need to contract with a vendor that specializes in providing communication access real-time translation (CART) or real-time captioning. CART can be delivered onsite – such as in legal proceedings – or remotely like online presentations and conferences.

Streaming Captions to Unique Page permalink

Make sure your captioning vendor provides a custom URL or page for providing streaming like the one provided by StreamText. See the demo of MLK's speech. With this approach, attendees have more control over the captions.

They can have a separate window on their computer or tablet to follow along. Attendees can adjust the typefaces, font-size, and colors to fit their needs. And since the captions are in the browser window, attendees can resize the fonts and windows through the browser controls, too.

Conference Platform permalink

Hopefully, your video conferencing platform provides a way to embed captions directly into the online environment without much effort. However, I never have found that to be the case. There are always some issues with connecting live captions.

A platform I used to use had a brittle captioning window. If someone clicked or activated the caption pod in Adobe Connect, the caption link had to be re-established. And when panelists have access to the platform with minimal tech training while they are speaking (or waiting to present), someone will explore by clicking around and break the connection accidentally. Bringing the show to a complete halt.

Another issue is there aren't enough options for attendees to personalize. Some attendees might need to adjust the captions font-size or color to increase contrast.

So, even if your platform provides captions directly embedded into the presentation, I would recommend providing captions in a separate URL completely

Live Caption Vendors permalink

In the past, we've used WGBH and Texas Closed Captioning.

However, I'd encourage you to look for your nearby resources. There are plenty of companies out there that provide these services. Check out local or state schools for the deaf that may provide this service.