by Kira Yager
Are you organizing an online event? And wondering how to make it accessible? Organizing an online event does require some coordination and making it accessible to everyone is of great importance, which is why providing online closed captioning is becoming a crucial component of online meetings, lectures and other types of internet gatherings. The Deaf and hard of hearing communities, as well as those who are neurodiverse, should never be left out.
Let’s say you work as the event coordinator for a large company of approximately 300 people. The president of your company contacts you to organize an online event in which she will be making an important announcement and sharing the fiscal year’s results. She’s asked you to organize it, and since 90% of the staff are still working from home due to the pandemic, it’s going to have to be an online event.
“One more thing,” the boss says in her email, “We have employees with hearing impairment so you must provide closed caption online for the meeting.” And it’s up to you to make it happen. How can you do this? It may seem daunting at first, but there are many tools available that can make this endeavour quite painless. All you’ll need are some good coordination skills!
Once you’ve located a reliable closed captioning company, it becomes a matter of coordinating and securing the booking of a closed captioner for your event. Then, you’ll want to make sure you have all the tools necessary in order to have everything go off without a hitch. Especially ensuring you have the right platforms.
Platforms for Closed Captions Online
Certain platforms have been created to aid closed captioning providers with transferring the typed words onto the computer screen. Selected streaming software programs have built-in third-party captioning integrations.
Take for example, Zoom, which allows live captioners to connect to the event and their captions appear in real time on the screen. Unfortunately, some meetup software can’t do this, which is why choosing your platforms carefully is important.
StreamText for Online Closed Captions
StreamText is a popular tool that allows for live streaming captions.
StreamText is a versatile online closed caption player, which is compatible with most internet browsers such as Chrome, FireFox, Safari, Internet Explorer and others. And within those browsers are the various meeting applications, like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet, which are being used not just for important webinars, but also for informative lectures, town hall meetings — events of all kinds. StreamText is compatible with many of these platforms and can even stream into a Live YouTube event.
Since StreamText can be a huge help when it comes to closed captioning for online videos or events, it’s a good idea to understand exactly what it does.
In the world of closed captioning, this tool renders online events, meetings and lectures accessible to a large number of internet users who otherwise would not be able to gain a full understanding of the words being spoken. The live captioned text will be displayed on the page, as it is uploaded by the captioner.
StreamText can be downloaded from the provider’s main website and then accessed by users either as a single web page or embedded into live streams. If used as a single web page, users simply have to open the relevant StreamText page on a browser. Its appearance can also be adapted to the user’s preferences. The user can reset the font, change the font colors, modify the font family background colors, show or hide controls, and show or hide chat and line spacing.
How much does it cost to use StreamText? Pricing is based on usage with fees calculated per minute. However, there are no setup fees. Another plus, you can connect up to one thousand attendees for the same event with no additional costs.
Speaking of cost, it’s worth finding out if your online closed captioning provider is partnered with StreamText and whether the service can be included in the final cost of providing online closed captioning services.
Some of the online meeting platforms previously mentioned, such as Zoom, are equipped with a built-in captioning feature, however, it’s worth noting that a tool like StreamText allows a closed captioner to connect their stenographic equipment directly and use StreamText as a means of transferring the written words to the event screen, which allows for the best possible accuracy.
Here’s a quick recap: Choose your online closed captioning provider, coordinate the day and time of the event with your provider. Choose your applications and/or platforms and coordinate those with the provider as well. Voila!
Once you have a reliable closed captioned provider, and you’ve chosen your event dates and times — including platforms for hosting and streaming the captions — all that is left to do is send out your event invitations, then, enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you have provided quality content to your users and made it highly accessible to all!