ASL Interpreters and Captioning in Zoom

Communication Access Services in Zoom

Our online/virtual meetings often happen via Zoom for UArizona related classes and events. Below are guidelines both Zoom participants and Zoom hosts can use to ensure communication access in this online environment.

* Note: Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars often have different settings and options for both participants and hosts. Zoom Meetings are the most common.

It is always recommended you upgrade to the latest version of the Zoom application.

ASL Interpreters in Zoom

Typically, two interpreters will be present for Zoom meetings/webinars.

  • To ensure deaf participants always see the Interpreter video, pin the Interpreter’s window in Zoom.
    • If participants would like to pin more than one video, ask the meeting host to enable this option.
  • Select "side-by-side mode” to view a split screen showing both the presenter’s screen and the pinned interpreter.
    • If desired, participants can use a second device to increase flexibility of screen viewing. For example, a computer displays the presenter’s screen and a tablet/phone displays the pinned interpreter.
    • Participants can also choose to hide all non-video attendees for easier access to the interpreter’s video.
  • If breakout rooms are used, interpreters should be assigned to the same room to which the deaf participant is assigned.
  • There is a video that provides additional tips for how to use an interpreter on Zoom. (Note, enabling captions will provide access for signed sections of the video.)

Below are techniques to enhance your Zoom experience for all participants. Directions assume that you are the Host of the Meeting or Webinar.

  • Deaf/hard-of-hearing participant(s) and interpreter(s) may choose to login via several devices (thus, adding “participants” to the room) for increased flexibility.

Zoom Meetings  

  • Provide permission to participants for multi-pinning of Zoom videos
    • Select the participant's name, access the "more" option, then select "allow to multi-pin." 
  • Consider allowing participants to create their own, local, recording of the Zoom meeting. 
  • If breakout rooms are utilized, interpreters must be assigned to the same room as the deaf/hard-of-hearing participant(s). 

Zoom Webinars

Zoom webinars are for events that need to restrict participant interactions or for very large audiences.  

  • Interpreters must be added as panelists for the webinar to allow them to enable their video and thus be available for all participants to access.
  • Set Zoom View options to ensure visibility of interpreters by attendees.
    • Using the “View” button in the top right corner of the Zoom application or the “More” menu in the participant’s window:
      • Under the section labeled “Attendee View”
        • Select “Gallery” if you are not sharing your screen.
        • Select “Side-by-Side Gallery” if you are sharing your screen.
    • Panelists, including interpreters, with videos disabled will not be displayed to webinar attendees.

CART Captioners in Zoom

Typically, one captioner is assigned.

  • NOTE: The captioner will need to be assigned as “captioner” before starting.
    • Open the participant list.
      • By the captioners name, select the “more” button.
      • Select “assign to type Closed Captions”. A blue “CC” icon will appear once connected.
  • Participants will now be able to turn captions on or off by using the “CC” or “more” button in the Zoom toolbar.  
  • If you are utilizing breakout rooms, you will need to assign the captioner to the same room as the deaf/hard-of-hearing participant.
  • View instructions with screenshots

  • Select the “CC” button or the menu arrow/caret next to the “CC” button to select “show subtitles.”
    • You may also choose “View Full Transcript” to see the transcript in the side panel of the meeting.
  • When the instructor starts speaking, the captions will appear on the bottom of your Zoom screen.
  • Font size of the subtitles can be changed.
  • If a problem arises, utilize the chat box and/or text message to send your captioner a message.
  • Zoom provided instructions for viewing captions/transcripts.

The CART Captioner will rely on an in-person audio source.

If the audio source is provided by the participant and not the speaker/instructor:

  • Sit in the front of the room, near the speaker/instructor.
  • Make sure your device is fully charged and sit near an outlet.
  • Log into the provided Zoom meeting and make sure you are unmuted, video is not required.
  • Use the CC button in Zoom to enable captions.
  • Use the chat feature to send your captioner a message if needed.

Auto-Generated Live Transcript

Enhanced access for all participants can be provided through transcripts. 

Note: Auto-transcripts are not a substitute for true professional captions/ disability accommodations for communication access.   

  1. As a participant, request the host enable auto live transcription by selecting the “CC” button. Confirm your request and the host will receive a notification of the request.
  2. Hosts can Enable Live Auto Transcription in any UArizona, non-HIPAA, hosted Zoom instance. 
  3. Hosts can record Zoom meetings to the cloud to automatically generate a transcript.

Additional Resources:


Contact DRC at 520-621-3268 or