Webinar Accessibility

Digital content is used by individuals in different ways, and our communities have a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, or cognitive abilities. As such, The Ohio State University Digital Accessibility Policy requires all online video to include captions and descriptive transcripts so they may be used by this diverse audience.


Zoom Cloud Recordings:

Using the cloud recordings option in zoom automatically adds an automated set of captions and transcripts to your video. While this is a great starting point, the transcription service is not always perfect. To provide a like-for-like experience for all who may access the material, individuals should verify and edit both the captions and transcript. This helps all audiences clearly understand the material presented, especially where it is needed to describe pertinent visual materials on screen such as slides or shared content. Transcript should be annotated so that visually impaired users can use it to follow the presentation.

If breakout rooms are to be used in your live event, it is important to plan for captioning to happen in each corresponding room.


Uploading a video to YouTube does provide automated captions for that video. As with the Zoom cloud recordings, the YouTube captions are a good starting point, but should be edited for automated language issues. Those captions can be downloaded and annotated for use as a transcript.

Caption Accuracy

To ensure that all audiences of these materials are receiving similar experience, the accuracy of captions is very important. While recent advances in technology have made some of this easier, automated systems make mistakes with the accuracy of captions and transcripts. Individuals taking the time to correct misspelled or misheard words, punctuation, and speaker identification help provide a clear and understandable experience to all audiences. Also, where applicable, transcripts should add descriptive text to describe relevant visuals.

Live Events

Currently, there is not an automated service provided by the university for live captions. However, these captions are still required, as well as to be accurate, by the Digital Accessibility Policy.


Captioning can be contracted out to transcribing services such as PriOhio (https://priohio.com) or Automatic Sync (https://www.automaticsync.com/captionsync/service-list/real-time-caption...).

For large (200 or more people) public events, the university may be able to provide transcribing services through the ADA office. The ADA office may also be able to provide services on an accommodation basis as well; please see the exception section below.


If for some reason these requirements cannot be met, or live captions are not practical your event, the event will require a university approved exception. This process is based on filing an accommodation plan with the university, including communications giving attendees of your event an opportunity to communicate their need(s) for accommodation. In the event an accommodation is requested for the event, it must be provided. The university may have some assistance available for accommodation-based requests; please contact the ADAs coordinator’s office (ada-osu@osu.edu) if this is desired.

To file an exception for your event, please contact our Digital Accessibility Coordinator, Eric Owens (owens.778@osu.edu). We will be happy to work with you on such accommodations. To note, please engage us before beginning to promote your event, as the accommodation plan may require additional language or formatting to be included in such communications. The exception process can take some time; the University recommends 4-6 weeks of lead time for any event that would require an exception.

Requests for Accommodation

Regardless of whether an exception is filed for an event. All of our communications for digital services should solicit requests for accommodation.  These requests can either be fielded by the event organizer or pointed to the college accommodation request form at https://cfaes.osu.edu/a11y .  A sample of language that could be used is below

If you have a disability and have questions about accessibility or wish to request accommodations, you can request assistance at https://ohio4h.org/a11y

For a live webinar specifically, an alternative sample could be:

“If you require an accommodation such as live captioning or interpretation to participate in this event, please contact Brutus Buckeye at buckeye.1@osu.edu or 614-247-5555. Requests made 10 day prior to the event will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.”

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