By: Frank Engelman | Posted: March 26, 2021 | Updated: April 27, 2023
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The Problem to be Solved
Hearing Challenges and Video Calls
Some people with hearing issues find video calls challenging because they can’t always make out what people are saying. We wanted solutions that could help with that.
My loved one has trouble understanding what I say in a Zoom video call!
You have been enjoying Zoom video calls with your loved one, but sometimes they have a problem understanding what you are saying.
If you have wished for a closed captioning service on Zoom for the hard of hearing, I have a solution for you!
Zoom Has Closed Captioning!
If you have a Zoom Pro (paid) plan, there is a hidden feature that you enable to make closed captioning available.
It works well on the web-based version of Zoom meeting or the PC/Mac app version.
- The mobile iOS/Android version removes some features such as closed caption text screen position placement.
- On Apple iPhones and iPads the caption text size is not adjustable, but Android devices can change text size through Accessibility Settings.
This even works on Echo Show 8, if you setup the Zoom meeting as described in this article.
Setting up Zoom Closed Caption Service
The Zoom Meeting Pro version offers a little-known feature to enable Closed Captions through its built-in “live transcription.”
Initial set up steps using a web browser:
- Log in to https://zoom.us/profile/setting with your Zoom Pro account.
- Click Meeting
- In Meeting (Advanced)
- Enable Closed captioning
- Enable live transcription service
- This only shows up on the Zoom Pro plan
- Click Save (Enable)
The above steps only need to be performed once. This adds the “Live Transcription” option to all future meetings.
You can enable this feature when starting a Zoom meeting on a mobile device with IOS/Android or from a PC/Mac using the Zoom app or web browser.
Starting a Zoom Meeting from a mobile device
Start the meeting normally and then tap on the “more” icon (3 dots)
- Tap on the “Enable Live Transcript”
This will start closed captions for your meeting.
Note: You can also enable “Full transcript”, but this is overlayed on your meeting participants video images.
- iPad fixed text size Android with Accessibility Settings
You won’t have the PC/Mac options shown below that able the ability to move the text around on your screen. However, if you are using an Android device, you can make your text larger using Accessibility Settings.
Starting a Zoom Meeting from a PC/Mac
Meeting Host steps:
- Launch the Zoom Meeting
- Click Live Transcript
- Click Enable Auto-Transcription
- Click on the “^” next to the [CC]
- Click Show Subtitle
- Click Show Full Transcript (if you want to see the names attached to the captions)
- You can also save a transcript of the meeting
Start by testing without inviting anyone to be sure that Live Transcript is working.
- Click Subtitle Setting, if you wish to change the text size.
- You can drag the captions around your screen.
Loved one’s Zoom Meeting steps on an IOS or Android device:
They will join the Zoom meeting using their usual procedure. There are no settings for them to make, and your captions will automatically appear on the Zoom Mobile app. The text position is not adjustable, while the text size can be adjusted by Accessibility Setting on Android devices.
Loved one’s Zoom Meeting steps on an Echo Show 8:
They will join scheduled Zoom meeting using their usual procedure.
In the meeting they will need to tap the small red dot
- Tap “Settings”
- Enable Transcription Options
- Note- this may take several “taps” or a longer hold to activate
They will then see your voice captioned.
*Disclosure: The research and opinions in this article are those of the author, and may or may not reflect the official views of Tech-enhanced Life.
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