Zoom Accessibility

Accessible Cypress College Zoom Meetings

When using online tools for remote work, it is important not only to use tools with an accessible interface but also to know how to use them so people with disabilities can participate.

This page offers some tips for using Zoom so that your remote online experiences are accessible.

Zoom provides an accessible interface and provides information about accessibility, including how to create closed captions.

Live captioning of Zoom meetings

For live captioning during a Zoom meeting, we recommend Zoom’s built-in live transcription  When running Zoom with live transcription enabled, a live transcript will automatically generate in real-time, and meeting participants can enable caption-style display.

For more about using Zoom’s built-in live transcription or considering other options, see Transcripts and Captions.

Tips for meetings with screen-reader users

  • Meeting invitations
    When creating a meeting invitation, put the URL on a blank link without any other text or characters around it. This enables the screen reader user to just hit enter to access it, rather than also having to tab over the text.  Do not put the URL in the location line because it does not appear as a live hyperlink; put it in the subject line or the body of the email.
  • Participant list
    Screen reader users can access the participant list, though it’s cumbersome for them.  Be sure to read the participant names out loud at the start of the meeting.
  • Participation
    Suggest people use “raise hand” so that everyone can have a chance to speak and make sure they know the keyboard shortcuts: Alt Y (command Y) for raise hand, and Alt A (command A) for muting yourself.
  • Screensharing and the Zoom whiteboard
    These features are inaccessible.  The content should be described out loud whenever used.
  • Chat
    Chat is disruptive for screen reader users because when they turn on speech mode, it is read out loud over other talk and hinders them from following the rest of the meeting. Use the chat for important things, to avoid excluding the screen reader user. Be sure to record the meeting, which provides an archive of the chat as a text file. This ensures the screen reader user can later access links and other information shared in chat. If you plan to record the meeting, you must advise the participants of this and take steps to ensure their privacy, including disabling the feature that allows others to record the meeting too. A draft script appears below, which you can also include in the meeting invitation: This meeting/session will be recorded [and posted online]. [I have disabled the recording feature for others so no one else will be able to record the session.] If you have privacy concerns and do not wish to appear in the recording, you may turn off or “stop video” now. If you disable live video, you may use a profile image rather than your name or photograph.  Let the organizer know what image you will be using so they can recognize you. If you would like to ask a question privately, you may do so via chat to the organizer’s name and not to “everyone.”
  • Control another computer
    If a screen reader user is sharing their screen and encounters problems, they can allow another meeting participant to control their computer and fix the problem. (The screen reader user will hear all actions the person is taking.) To do this, the other participant can Request Control, or the screen reader user can go to the More menu, click Enable Remote Control, and then select the other participant’s name and hit enter. That person will accept control. Later under Zoom meeting controls and View Options, the other person can give up the remote control.

Do you have additional questions?  Email us at zoom@cypresscollege.edu.