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Libraries and Accessibility: Accessible Virtual Gatherings

Resources on accessibility, the ADA, and services to persons with disabilities.

80% of people who use captions are not deaf or hard of hearing.

See more Accessibility and Online Video stats from 3PlayMedia.


Live, real-time captions for a presentation or meeting

Some software and streaming platforms can automatically convert the spoken word to text in real time using voice recognition technology. 

DIY for attendees, from Tina Childress

  • Run a speech-to-text (STT) app like Live Transcribe or Live Caption (both Android only) or Otter or Ava (both are iOS and Android) on a separate mobile device such as a cell phone or tablet. You can also open up (free real-time automated captions in a browser), Otter or Ava (only at the higher paid tiers) in another browser window. Make sure your computer speakers are turned up so the mobile device can pick up the signal. You will then be able to read captions on the mobile device.
  • If there is someone in your group that is able to get captions on their end, have them share their screen so that everyone can see the captions.

Captioning/Transcription Services

Many companies will create subtitles/captions/transcripts for you, with an associated cost.


Webinars and online gatherings provide a platform for people to ask questions and interact with the speakers in real time. Live captions allow people who are deaf or hard of hearing to participate in real time as well, so it’s best to include captioning to the live webinar rather than adding captions in post-production. Captioning also provides a transcript of the event that can be useful for everyone, including those who join the live event late.

Be sure to inform the audience in advance that the meeting is being captioned. Mention that it's important to speak clearly and not talk over others.


Hey, I know of a resource you should add to this page!

If you know of a great resource that should be included in the Libraries and Accessibility pages, please contact Maria Bernier,

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