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Zoom Accessibility Features and Guidelines

Turn on Closed Captions

  1. In a Zoom meeting/webinar you are hosting, click the Closed Caption/Transcript button
  2. Select one of the following options:
    • Enable Auto-Transcription: Allows the system to provide live transcription. Participants will be notified that this service is turned on.
    • Assign a Participant to Type: Assigns a participant to type closed captions during the meeting,
    • I will type: Opens the closed captioning window for you to manually type the closed captions
    • Copy the API Token: If using a third party closed captioning service, this allows you to copy the URL to integrate the service with the meeting.

Enable “Always Show Meeting Controls”

  1. Select the “Home” tab.
  2. Select the Settings “gear” icon and a pop-up window will open.
  3. Select “View Advanced Features” (Windows) or “View Advanced Settings” (Mac). The Zoom website will open. Login if prompted. The “Meeting Settings” page will open.
  4. Navigate to the “In Meeting (Basics)” section of the Meeting Settings page.
  5. Enable “Always show meeting control toolbar.”


Enable the “Mute Participants Upon Entry” Feature

In your meeting settings, select the “Mute participants upon entry” checkbox (located under Meeting Options when scheduling a session). Participants will have to unmute their mics to participate. This feature will ensure less disruptions at the start of a meeting or webinar.

Tips for Presenting Inclusively 

Preparing for the Meeting 

  • Remember that screen sharing will be inaccessible to visually impaired participants who rely on screen readers and those joining by phone only so send materials in advance when you send the information on how to join the meeting.
  • Make sure the materials you send in advance are accessible.
  • Provide captioning proactively.
  • Make sure to provide a way for people to request accommodations such as sign language interpreters.
  • Include links to information about how to join a Zoom meeting and accessibility information about Zoom in your invitation.
  • Consider appointing a co-host who can assist participants with technical difficulties, monitor the chat and raised hands, and mind other trouble shooting. This is also a good practice in case the host gets bumped from the meeting, the other attendees will not be bumped off.

Facilitating the Meeting

  • Make sure captioning is working.
  • If sign language interpreters are present, make sure they have access and the person using the interpreters can see them adequately.
  • Share guidance with participants before the meeting begins regarding protocols for interacting.
  • If sharing a presentation, speak to the presentation and describe what is on the screen as it relates to the content you are sharing. Best rule of thumb here, if you were to close your eyes and someone explained the content to you, would you be able to understand what is being shown on the screen from what that person is describing.
    • Example: "In this bar chart, you can see that half the users preferred to run in the morning and half preferred to run in the evening." Or, "On the screen is a math equation to solve for X," and proceed to describe the equation.
  • If questions are asked and people provide visual responses, such as head nods or raising their hands, provide a description of what you see.
    • Example: "About half of the participants are shaking their head in agreement."
  • Monitor the chat and read the comments and questions aloud.

Additional Tips


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