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Library Event and Conference Planning: Live Captioning Guidelines

Use this guide to help you create an event plan, manage your budget or fiscal processes, order food, reserve hotel rooms, etc.

Live Captioning Requests in the Libraries in Hybrid and Virtual Events

Impacted Audience includes, but is not limited to Deaf or Hard of Hearing individuals, people with learning disabilities, people who process information differently, people who have situational limitations, and who will likely encounter unfamiliar terms or jargon.

Definitions:

  • Auto-transcription: The process by which words spoken over a virtual conferencing platform are automatically translated into captions on the screen using artificial intelligence (AI). Auto-transcriptions are not accurate enough to provide equitable access for people who are Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing.
  • Live Captioning: The process by which humans only or humans with an AI team prepare captions in real-time and post them over a virtual conference platform to all participants during the duration of the session.
  • Transcript: A document provided at the end of a session with auto-transcription generated automatically by the conferencing software. This document should then be edited for accuracy prior to sharing it.
  • Accessibility Liaison:  An assigned UF library employee that is familiar with the accessibility services and resources available at their respective library/unit/department. They are also knowledgeable about resources in the University of Florida library system and know the necessary contacts in the libraries and UF Disability Resource Center to satisfy accessibility needs.
  • Disability: Defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or the history or record of such an impairment, or a person perceived by others as having such an impairment.
  • Situational Limitations: Temporary inability to hear or process sounds due to a specific environmental or technological circumstance.
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing person: Any person who has difficulty or inability to hear any or all spoken frequencies, or who identifies with the Deaf community. Can be limited to certain frequencies of sound or may be all-encompassing.
  • Learning Disabilities: a heterogeneous group of disorders manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, writing, reasoning or mathematical abilities.

Best Practices

  • Auto-Transcription: To increase inclusivity, library staff should always utilize the automatic transcription built into Zoom, called “Live Transcript” in the Zoom settings, when hosting meetings, presentations, and workshops. 
    • While auto-transcription is free, it fails to capture all speech accurately. Although it may be helpful for some participants, it is not appropriate for participants who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
    • Lack of accuracy is particularly difficult for listeners unfamiliar with discipline-specific jargon or who rely on transcriptions for understanding, such as people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing or have learning disabilities or process information differently or have situational limitations.
    • Speakers in noisy environments or with unfamiliar speech patterns may be misinterpreted even more frequently than other speakers. Therefore, speakers are encouraged to utilize headsets to provide better audio quality. 
    •  Enabling Auto-transcription for all meetings ensures that employees who would prefer transcriptions can receive it without having to ask every time or of every library employee who has not previously handled a transcription request from them.  
    • The auto-transcript document should be edited for accuracy before sharing the event recording.
      • Zoom only: the closed caption file can only be edited live during the conferenced event; after the recording of the event is finalized it cannot be edited. The transcript (which is a separate file) can be edited and uploaded to YouTube with the video recording of the event. Otherwise video recordings must be edited using Adobe Premier or similar software to ensure accurate captions.
  • External Event Expectations
    • For any event with non-library individuals attending, provide live-captioning services.
    • Archived videos must have captions edited into them, either automatically by uploading transcript file to YouTube, or manually using Adobe Premier or similar software if uploading to UFDC.
  • Accommodation Request Statement for External Facing Events: To comply with the legal mandate, library staff should:
    • Provide all participants with the option to request accommodations that meet ADA requirements, along with contact information for the person who will receive and coordinate the request, preferably the organizer of the event. This is not the Accessibility Liaison' s responsibility per the definition of Liaison.
      • For example: Advance notice a minimum of 10 business days is necessary to satisfy some accessibility needs. To request help participating in our events, please contact [Event Organizer’s Name] and [email address] and [phone number].
      • This can also be a space in the registration form, such as provided by LibCal.
    • Provide accommodation request information on all marketing materials and registration forms.
    • Schedule sufficient lead time for people to submit accommodation requests when planning an event. Our suggested standard is two weeks minimum, but this can be contextual so discuss with your planning team what is necessary in your specific situation.
  • Budget Planning:
    • Include funding for live captioning/other accommodations (further information on other accommodations to come) in budget for all external events, including grant proposals.
    • Cost estimate: Verbit (the transcription service used by the DRC): $85-$120/hour, including preparation and presentation for Verbit. .
    • Libraries also have access to Otter.ai auto-transcription services: Contact Misty Colson (mcolson@uflib.ufl.edu)
  • Event Preparation
    • Consider sending the Live Captioning service (i.e., Verbit) any specialized vocabulary that is likely to be used during the event several days before the event.
    • Test-run Live Captioning service (i.e., Verbit) ahead of time.  
    • Prepare presenters ahead of time for live captioning and virtual accessibility: Tip guide for virtual accessibility.

Virtual Event

Audience

Audience

Subgroup

First Contact

Funding Source

Initial Notification

Credit Course

External

Student registered with DRC

Disability Resource Center (DRC)

Disability Resource Center (DRC)

Student email

Workshop

External

Student registered with DRC

Accessibility Liaison

DRC

Workshop

Registration Form

Faculty/Staff/NonDRC Registered Student

Accessibility Liaison

Library funds

Workshop

Registration Form

Presentation

External

Student registered with DRC

Accessibility Liaison

DRC

Registration Form

Faculty/Staff/Non DRCregistered students

Accessibility Liaison

Library funds

Registration Form

Public

Accessibility Liaison

Library funds

Registration Form

Presentation

Internal

Library workers

Accessibility Liaison

Library funds

Registration Form

Training

Internal

Library workers

Cynthia Digby

Library funds

Training Registration Form

Meeting

Internal

Library workers

Meeting organizer

Library funds

Library worker email

  • Credit Classes: When accommodation is requested, contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC).
    • Librarian as Instructor: When a librarian is the instructor, their syllabus should include a statement instructing students to request accommodations. Upon receipt of a request, the librarian should promptly contact the DRC about fulfilling that request.
    • Librarian as Guest Lecturer: If a librarian is invited to guest lecture, they should ask the Instructor of Record if there are any students who may need accommodations and discuss how the instructor plans to provide accommodations so that the librarian can plan/conduct lecture in accordance.
  • Library Workshops: Library staff offering workshops should provide space on the registration form for students/staff/faculty to request accommodations in the workshop.
    • Publicity: All publicity and registration materials should include a prominent solicitation of accommodation requests and instructions that such requests be submitted at least ten business days before the workshop and include a brief explanation for the time requirement (“to allow time to arrange for fulfillment of accommodation requests.”)
    • Tech Logistics & Funding:
      • Students registered with the DRC with specific approved accommodations. The funding piece will be discussed on a case-by-case basis.   
      • Library funds will cover accommodations for staff/faculty/public. DRC Live Captioning (i.e., Verbit) representative will help arrange accommodations.
  • Presentations (open to the Public)
    • Publicity: Advertise events at least ten business days in advance to allow time for communication of accommodation needs to the appropriate parties and subsequent tech arrangements and flow of funds.
    • Registration: Forms should include a statement and space for registrants to list accommodations needs, name, contact number, and email of person to whom concerns about accommodation can be expressed.
    • Logistical Arrangements: Price and arrangements are dependent on attendee status. First request will fulfill for all attendees if requested within the proper time limits.
      • Student registrants: Contact DRC so it can arrange for accommodations.
      • Staff/Faculty/Community member/general public registrants: Accommodations will be provided through Library funds (requested via Grover of Financial Services) and arranged in concert with the DRC.
  • Internal presentations/workshops/meetings
    • Accommodations should be arranged by the leader/host of the meeting and will be paid for by library funds by submitting a Grover ticket to Business Services with Fiscal Contacts for payment.
    • Organizer should state generally in meeting invites that employees can request accommodations of meeting organizer.

Additional Resources

Live Captioning Guidelines Team

Kestrel Ward, Library Assistant Architecture & Fine Arts Library, gryphlet@ufl.edu
Twanna Hodge, former DEI Librarian
at the George A. Smathers Libraries
Lisa Campbell, Instruction and Outreach Librarian, lisacampbell@uflib.ufl.edu

Nancy Schaefer, Public Health & Health Professions Librarian (retired)

Matthew Daley, Library Technology Services, matdale@uflib.ufl.edu

Keith Manuel, Public Services Associate LACC, kmanuel@ufl.edu

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