Zoom Classes: Deaf Tips: Before: Camera & Sitting Position

Last Updated: May 9, 2024 3:41 PM

Before: Getting Ready-Camera & Sitting Position

Set Up Camera and Sitting Position

  • Open your video, see what you look like; are you  too far down and tilting head back to be seen and to see; are you cut off on any part of the video-top, bottom, or sides
  • Virtual backgrounds and the blur background feature make communication more difficult, it is harder for the interpreter or DHH to read or follow signs and speech-read because the picture disappears, the edges blur, distort, or disappear (fingerspelling, numbers, and signs disappear) 
  • If you are signing, look at your screen throughout the meeting to ensure that your hands are visible. You may be too close to the screen and need to sit back. 

Here are some tips from the NTID ASL & Interpreting Education Department. Thank you to Jeanne Behm, Coordinator, RADSCC for passing this along. Source: adapted from ASLIE e-Curriculum

Do This Don't Do This
Solid color shirt that contrasts with skin color

Patterned shirt or shirt that does not
contrast with skin color

Wear a distracting hat, jewelry, or nail

Solid color background that is different than shirt color Background the same color as your shirt
Plain background “Busy” background (clutter; distracting
pictures or images)
Position camera straight across from you at eye level Camera angle up or down
Light in front of you Light above, behind, or to the side of
your head.
Sit in front of a window
Consider how others see you on the screen. Sit or stand up straight; remain in that position, ready to sign or speak and focus on the activity. Demonstrate distracting behaviors (e.g.,
slouch, rest your head on your hands, sit with your feet up, lie down, fidget in your seat, eat, sleep, or smoke)
If possible, make sure you are alone in your recording/meeting space. Have other people or animals in the room
Frame yourself showing a little above the waist to a little above the top of your head Part of your torso is out of the frame
Sign within your frame Sign outside of your frame

Look at the camera and/or the area under the camera.

Look too much to the right, left, up,
down, or away from the camera for a long period
Mute your microphone. Only turn it on when/if you use your voice and turn it off when you are finished Leave your microphone on so attendees can hear environmental noises.
Remember that ASL signers need to see each other, so leave your camera on. If you click Stop Video in Zoom, the order of participants’ windows will rearrange themselves and confuse others. If you need to leave for a moment, simply cover
your webcam.
Click Stop Video during a Zoom meeting or cover your webcam for an extended period of time (more than a minute or two), unless otherwise instructed.

Background and Lighting

If possible, position yourself in front of a solid color background. Be aware that some cameras do not
record bright white backgrounds very well. Remove clutter and make sure there is nothing distracting

Make sure you have adequate lighting. Try to have more light in front of you than behind you.
Otherwise, your face may be badly shadowed. Household lamps may help.




Framing in Zoom


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