Zoom – Request Live Transcript

On June 21, 2021, Zoom released Version 5.7.0. In the update notes, I noticed the following and decided to investigate:

As a reminder, Live Transcript/live transcription (LT) is the ASR/auto-generated captioning powered by Otter and offered by Zoom. It is currently available on paid accounts and if you are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, you can also fill out a form referenced in the Zoom blog post below if you have a (free) Basic account and want access to the LT feature. It is integrated within the Zoom app itself.

In this Zoom blog post which includes directions on how to enable the LT feature, Zoom seemed to allude to the possibility of participants/attendees being able to control enabling LT in upcoming versions. This is one of the biggest complaints about Zoom accessibility – the fact that we are at the complete mercy of the Host when it comes to turning on LT during a meeting or webinar. Google Meet and its on-demand closed captioning option, whether you are a host or participant, gets this absolutely right.

The Good:

  • Participants and attendees now have the ability to discreetly request that the LT feature during a meeting or webinar, without interrupting the entire event
  • Participants and attendees can even do this anonymously
  • This is available to Windows and Mac computer users and iOS (iPhone/iPad) users
  • Portal allows for LT to be turned on automatically and for Full Transcript to be displayed to the side

The Bad:

  • The Host can choose to turn this Request feature off so it’s not even an option
  • The Host can decline (?!?!?) to turn on LT after it has been requested
  • This is not yet available on Android OS
  • Chrome OS/Chromebooks (which is popular in schools) are still woefully behind in terms of having access to LT. Not only is it very, very delayed but this feature isn’t even offered yet for Chromebooks.
  • The Host can choose for Participants and Attendees to not see the Full Transcript on the side
  • (ADDED) In order for this feature of being able to Request LT to happen:
    • The Host has to have Version 5.7.0
    • The Host has to have already gone into their User Portal and turned on the Live Transcription feature referenced below under Closed Captioning

Personally, I feel like this is a half-hearted attempt to provide individuals who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing with the control they need to turn on the ASR-generated LT feature. It still allows the Host to DECLINE that this feature be turned on. I really, really hope that the version of Zoom that was discussed in the Zoom blog will come to fruition and not only will paid and free accounts have access to Live Transcript, but that DHH individuals will have complete autonomy in accessing this LT feature and not have to rely on a Host to turn it on or worse, decline to turn it on.

Settings and views

The first thing you need to do is make sure you have the latest update to Zoom for this feature which is Version 5.7.0.

Second, as Host of a meeting or webinar, this is what you will see when you click on the Live Transcript/CC button (NOTE: The Host has the option to un/check the box – I am not a fan of this because this means that participants and attendees can’t make this request):

Here are the options in the Advanced Settings of the User Portal on Zoom – I like that you can turn on LT automatically but don’t like that Hosts can deny viewing of Full Transcript to the side:

Below are directions if you are doing this from a Windows or Mac computer:

Below are directions for iOS and Android OS phones and tablets.
(NOTE: As of 06/25/21, Android OS still can’t update to 5.7.0)

As a participant on my Mac computer, I click on the Live Transcript/CC button on the bottom of my page and I will see this in the middle of my screen (Note: You can Ask anonymously):

As a Host from my computer, here is what I will see – not a fan that the Host can decline:

As a participant on my iPad, I click on the 3 dots (also known as the Meatball Menu) and I will see the option to Request Live Transcription:

After I click on “Request Live Transcription”, here is what I will see:

As a host on an iPad, here is what I see when someone makes a request (again – not cool that a Host can decline):

I still feel like Zoom has some headroom in terms of improving accessibility options…don’t EVEN get me started on lack of LT options or consistent 3rd party captioning in Breakout Rooms! We are also still waiting for the LT feature to be available to ALL, not just paid accounts.

What else would you like to see from Zoom????

Presentation Topics and Descriptions

Public Speaking Icon Vector Female Person on Podium for Presentation and Seminar for People with Microphone in Glyph Pictogram Symbol illustration

Whether online or in person, my goal is to use a combination of personal perspective as an audiologist and late-deafened adult, technology savvy, knowledge of resources and audience interaction to deliver information in an engaging and informative matter. I love to use pictures and personal examples in my talks and leave my audience with resources to access after the presentation is done. All of these presentations can be tailored to specific audiences – educators (special ed and regular ed), audiologists, parents, students, adults who are deaf/hard of hearing, etc. Some of them can be combined depending on content and time allotment. Presentations and titles can also be modified to specific themes (e.g., super-hear-oes!). I can present in spoken English or ASL. Below are some of the topics that I present about and their suggested lengths, though they can be adjusted. I am also open to developing trainings on topics not listed below.

I am also available for consultation in preparation for an event (e.g., meeting, webinar, live performance) as well as acting as a host/co-host/moderator to facilitate an event.

For a printable copy of my Topics and Descriptions, please download here:

  • Accessing the Arts
  • Apps
  • Assistive Technology
  • Best Practices for Accessible Videoconferencing
  • Can You R-E-A-D Me Now?
  • Cochlear Implants
  • Hearing Loss Basics
  • Hearing Loss Inservice Ideas
  • Life as a Deaf Audiologist and Advocacy
  • Online Resources and Making Connections
  • Simple Language for Complex Topics
  • Transition – Early Childhood Through High School and Beyond
  • Transition – Life After High School
  • Travel Tips and Emergency Preparedness When You Have Hearing Loss
  • What If I Don’t Have an Educational Audiologist?

Accessing the Arts

(1-2 hours)

Currently, use of Assistive Listening Devices is the standard accommodation at theatres. This is helpful for some but not all. Learn about different options such as closed captioning, open captioning, hearing loops and ASL interpreters and how they are becoming more prevalent. I will also discuss some of the advocacy efforts underway to improve access and how to become involved.


(2 hours [overview] to half day workshop [play with apps])

We’ll discuss topics such as where to look for apps, what features are good for individuals who are d/hh and demonstrate some of my favorite apps.  I also enjoy the opportunity to answer individual questions for finding apps for specific uses. All of these apps can be found on my App Lists (http://bit.ly/Apps4HL-iOS and http://bit.ly/Apps4HL-Android).  Attendees are encouraged to bring their portable device.

Assistive Technology

(1.5-3 hours)

Due to the ever-changing nature of technology, it is often difficult to keep up with all of the new and exciting ways to connect with assistive technology.  This is my passion and I am constantly reading about, researching and trying different technologies in an effort to share the information with people who might consider themselves technology-challenged or are looking for novel options to connect with the world around them. My goal is to describe and demonstrate how assistive technology can help us beyond just our personal amplification.

Best practices for accessible videoconferencing

(1-2 hours)

With the transition to online learning in education and telecommuting and videoconferencing in the business world, it’s important to know how to make these events accessible for individuals who are deaf/hard of hearing.  I can talk in general terms or talk specifically about the platforms that you use.   We will discuss options for integrating ASL interpreters and captioners into your event, as well as planning for contingencies.  Resources at http://tinachildressaud.com will be shared.

Can you R-E-A-D me now?

(1 hour [overview] to 3 hour workshop [play with technology])

Numerous options have emerged in the field of automated captioning – similar terms include Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning.  Individuals who are deaf/hard of hearing are using this technology to help with understanding when people are using masks.  They can also benefit from this technology in short exchanges, informal settings and as a back-up to captioning by a human captioner on videocalls or podcasts.  We will discuss Use Cases, how to use the different tools and resources such as http://bit.ly/SpeechToTextOptions will be shared.

Cochlear implants

(1.5-2 hours)

This presentation can be a very basic overview of how cochlear implants work or more advanced as we talk about connectivity.  I have also presented this topic to interpreters who attend audiology appointments for clients – examples of ASL signs for this terminology is discussed.  Multiple resources to explore later will be provided. I love talking about this topic and providing my personal and professional experiences.

Hearing Loss Basics

(1.5-2 hours)

Having a good foundation for understanding how hearing loss is diagnosed, treated and impacts communication is essential for families, adults and professionals. This interactive presentation is an excellent opportunity to (re)learn some of these concepts.

Hearing Loss Inservice ideas

(1.5-2 hours)

There are many resources already out there! What’s your favorite? Maybe you’ll learn a new one at this presentation. We will discuss and demonstrate a variety of inservice ideas for families, adults and professionals.

Life as a Deaf Audiologist and Advocacy

(1-2 hours)

There are scores of deaf/hard of hearing audiologists around the world but I don’t know very many who grew up with normal hearing and then became deaf like me.  In this retrospective and introspective presentation, I talk about what it was like as a former hearing person who experienced a rapidly progressive hearing loss, lessons I’ve learned and the passion I’ve discovered for advocacy and sharing information.  This is a popular topic for keynote presentations.

Online resources and making connections

(1-2 hours)

I have my feet in both worlds – as a professional and as a consumer. I’ve come to realize that there is so much value in being able to connect with others with hearing loss whether in person at a support group or in an online community. We’ll discuss advocacy groups and resources for a variety of populations and where to find them.

Simple Language for Complex Topics

(1.5-2 hours)

Have you ever been at a loss for words for explaining an audiogram? Do you see parents’ or other teachers’ eyes glaze over when you’re trying to explain how equipment works and why it’s so important? The purpose of this workshop is to not only provide you with a refresher and update for contemporary topics in audiology and deaf education but provide you with tools to explain it in everyday terms when you can’t come up with the words yourself. If there’s a concept that you’re stuck on, be sure to jot it down so we can discuss!

Transition – early childhood through high school and beyond

(1-2 hours)

As our students go through the various ages and stages, they are expected to have increased responsibilities in terms of equipment maintenance and use and advocacy skills.  Can a preschooler use an ear-level system?  Should an elementary school student be able to put in their own earmold for their hearing aid?   What do high schoolers need to think about before they graduate?   Let’s discuss!

Transition – life after high school

(1-2 hours)

As students who are deaf/hard of hearing prepare for finishing out their high school career, there are issues that they face that are unique to their situation.  Self-advocacy goals often start in elementary school but there are some issues that need to be specifically addressed in high school such as financial aid, making contact with disability services in post-secondary settings, using assistive technology as well as accommodation options and when to start them.

Travel Tips and Emergency Preparedness when you have hearing loss

(1-2 hours)

They don’t teach you this in school! Whether by plane, train or automobile, there are issues that individuals who are deaf/hard of hearing need to consider when traveling or in the event of an emergency. Do I need to do anything special when I go through a metal detector at the airport?  What are my safety options in hotel rooms? We will discuss tools and strategies in a variety of situations including lodging. I am a seasoned traveler who often travels alone and will have several experiences to share.

What if I don’t have an Educational Audiologist?

(1-2 hours)

Unfortunately, there are areas all over the U.S. that only have minimal, if ANY, support from an educational audiologist. Who selects, maintains and sends Hearing Assistive Technology (e.g., FM/DM) in for repair…what is within YOUR scope of practice? Where do students go for audiological evaluations with a focus on the educational impact of hearing loss? How do you keep track of changes in technology? As an Outreach Trainer, I have visited many schools that have varying degrees of support – learn about what you need to know, maybe even something new, and you will definitely feel empowered with resources!

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