Need Real-Time Captioning? You Could Try WebCaptioner.Com

By Maria Gallardo-Williams and Jennifer Stanigar

As we approach the fall semester, we are all considering online options for our course delivery. Videoconference software such as Zoom can enable you to have synchronous meetings with your students, but it does present accessibility challenges, such as the lack of a robust closed-captioning functionality. To address this issue, we have tried a free online option for live captioning offered by Web Captioner makes your event, speech, or classroom lecture accessible with real-time captioning!

At this time, Google Chrome browser has the best support for the Web Speech API, which allows Web Captioner to perform accurate, real-time speech recognition. It will continue to be free for the time being if you use Chrome.

Open WebCaptioner in a Chrome web browser. Click the blue ‘Start Captioning’ button to begin.

Open the Menu to adjust the Settings (font style, size, color, background, placement, etc.) or to Save Transcript.

Any voices that can be picked up by your microphone will be captioned. If you use a headset, your voice will be picked up, but not those of your participants. You may need to adjust the volume level or change microphones, if you see the “too quiet” message.

Best Practice: Open the WebCaptioner application and then, resize and move the Zoom window on top, so that the captions appear underneath. Each new line of captioned text appears at the bottom, making it easily readable.

This live captioning tool can be used to generate captions for previously recorded podcasts or videos, and the captions can be saved as a Word or text file, so this transcript can be shared with the audience.

Have you found any tools that could be useful to other colleagues? Let us know in the comments section!