Automatic Captions for Live Video
Any live video event produced by UNC should have some form of live captions. Captions help to ensure equal access to content while also being in compliance with federal laws and university policy. For large public and high profile events we recommend a live human captioner over automatic captions to ensure a higher accuracy rate. If you are unsure about the captioning requirements for your event then our Captioning Decision Tree may help.
Recommended Platforms with Automatic Live Captions
- Zoom Meetings or Webinars
- Note: Breakout rooms do not support automatic live captions
- Microsoft Teams
When can you use Automatic Captions?
- Internal meetings/webinars/trainings
- Known groups such as classes
- Events that require a registration in advance
Note: If you receive an accommodation request for any event above, then you may need to upgrade to a live human captioner depending on the specific request.
Pros of Automatic Captions:
- Free in many platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams
- Easy to set up and use
- Help attendees who may enjoy using captions even if they don’t need them
Cons of Automatic Captions:
- Not sufficient for some accommodation requests
- Accuracy rate at only 70-80%
- Accuracy drops off significantly if multiple people speak at once, or if the main speaker goes too fast.
- Final version of auto captions will need to be remediated for near 100% accuracy before posting recorded video online. This is true of any live captions included those done manually by a paid human captioner. We have a list of third party vendors that can assist with this task.
How to prep for live streaming video events:
- Have a way for attendees to request captioning accommodations since automatic captions may not work well for everyone.
- Require users to register or request access to your event instead of publishing the meeting information publicly.
- Inform users that the meeting will be using automatic/machine generated live captions.
- Have an accommodation statement so users can make any additional accessibility requests they need.
- Example Accommodation Statement: Do you have any accommodation needs we should consider when planning this training session? If yes, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org at least three business days prior to the training session to discuss how we can best accommodate you.
- If the attendee making the request indicates that live auto captions do not meet their needs, then you will need upgrade to a live human captioner.
- Ensure that the platform you want to use for the event allows for live automatic captions.
- Check that all required settings to activate captions are turned on in your platform of choice.
- Practice doing a few test runs with co-workers/friends to get familiar with the process.
If you have questions or concerns, you can submit an online help request for a consultation with the Digital Accessibility Office.