Zoom Closed Captions: Enhancing Communication Accessibility

Closed Captions on Zoom: Making Your Content Inclusive and Accessible

As a content creator, you want your content to reach and engage as many people as possible. Closed captions on Zoom can help you achieve this goal by making your content more inclusive and accessible for viewers who may be deaf or hard of hearing, have hearing loss or struggle with understanding accents and speech patterns.

When adding closed captions to your Zoom meetings or webinars, you are essentially adding a text-based representation of the speech and sounds in your content. This can be done in one of two ways; either manually typing captions as you speak or using third-party software to automatically generate captions for you.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of closed captions on Zoom:

1. Improving Accessibility for Those with Hearing Difficulties

People who are deaf or hard of hearing rely on captions to fully participate in conversations, meetings and webinars. Without captions, they could miss important information and conversations that could impact their studies, work, or personal life. Adding closed captions on Zoom makes your content accessible to a wider audience and helps eliminate barriers to communication.

2. Enhancing Learning Opportunities for ESL Speakers

Closed captions can be especially helpful for viewers whose primary language is not English. For those learning English as a second language, captions can help improve reading comprehension and pronunciation. Using captions effectively could be the difference that makes someone’s learning experience more successful, more engaging, and more immersive.

3. Compliance with Legal Obligations

Thanks to The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), having closed captions and transcripts of all your video content is required by law. This means that if you are publishing content for a large audience, you are required to include closed captions on your video content.

4. A Great Way to Reach a Wider Audience

Closed captions make your videos more accessible and easier to understand, leading to a wider audience reach. Some viewers prefer to watch videos with captions on, even if they don’t have any hearing impairment. This is because videos with captions make it easier for viewers to follow and understand the content.

Adding Closed Captions on Zoom: A Guide

Before Adding Closed Captions Manually, Ask Yourself
– Do I have the capacity to type/copy and paste captions in real-time?
– Am I comfortable with the keyboard shortcuts needed to pause and start captions?
– Will I be able to accurately capture what is being said, even when people talk over one another?

If you decide to add closed captions manually, follow these steps:

1. Start your Zoom meeting or webinar and click on the “CC” button at the bottom of your screen;
2. You have the options to assign someone to type or save a file to upload captions manually browse for the caption file manually or a transcription service.
3. Type the captions while the meeting progresses or upload the pre-created file.

Using Third-Party Software to Generate Closed Captions

Zoom’s automatic caption service, powered by Otter.ai, works in real-time, so you don’t have to type captions manually. The service automatically converts the audio in your Zoom meeting or webinar into captions as people speak.

Here’s how you can enable the automatic caption service on Zoom:

1. Sign in to Zoom account at www.zoom.us
2. Click on ‘’Settings” and select “In Meeting Advanced”.
3. Turn on the setting for closed captions to “On”
4. Click on the “Automatically generate captions” button.
5. Once this setting is enabled, captions will appear in your Zoom meeting or webinar automatically.


Closed captions on Zoom can provide an opportunity to create content that is more inclusive and accessible to viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing, are learning English as a second language, or simply prefer viewing videos with captions on. With captions, you can easily comply with legal obligations to provide access to online material, and reach a wider audience, allowing you to engage with and have wider impact on your fans. So go ahead, add closed captions on your content, and make the world just a little bit more accessible and inclusive.

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