Zoom Classes: Deaf Tips: Before: Consider Stakeholders, Communication Agreement, Recording Benefits

Last Updated: May 9, 2024 3:41 PM

Before: Getting Ready: Consider Stakeholders, Communication Agreement

Fostering Student Success through Communication and Access

Recognize that we are all partners in promoting student success and need to communicate with each other to advocate for needs. Consider how you can support inclusion and access in your teaching approach. Students, interpreters, captionists, and others also need to communicate and support partnerships with the professor.

 Communication Agreement

Consider developing an agreement with all stakeholders to improve communication flow and turn-taking to ensure successful communication with people using diverse communication modes. You may want to enable non-verbal and meeting reactions on Zoom (raise a hand, slow down, etc). 

  • identify self
  • if you are co-presenting, you may want to consider adding the person as an alternate host in the event there are internet issues. That way, your co-presenter can take over. Also, you may want DAS Services to be aware of your phone/text number in case there is a problem with Zoom access (example: maybe the service provider has the wrong Zoom ID number). DAS can get in touch with you in case the service provider is unable to get into the Zoom session.
  • consider processing time for interpreters, captionists, and students
  • turn on chat for all so private chats can occur as needed between interpreters , captionists, the professor, and students
  • make interpreters (and others as needed) co-hosts

    Live Zoom Transcription (Captions)

  • some students may request turning on live Zoom transcription (which is automated captions) in addition to an interpreter. While this built-in Zoom feature works well, there may be some errors and it is different from a live captionist who types what is heard and thus is more accurate.  Be aware that due to finite resources, one student cannot always request both an interpreter and live captionist, and most choose one service. Students may want live zoom transcription to read specialized vocabulary, proper nouns such as names, detailed info such as numbers, dates, upcoming meeting dates and times, and other detailed info. This helps the consumer and the interpreter work together as a team. 

    Developing Your Point Succinctly

  • consider leading with the most important point you are making and then add on to it: for diverse language users, Deaf, International students etc.
  • deaf consumers, interpreters, and captionists have much to process. It is easier to process presentations that are clear and succinct. 
  • consider whether you need to present all of the information or whether some of it could be delivered via hand-outs to help with information-chunking of the most important points. This will help to pace as well as the presenter does not feel rushed to include all information 


  •  pauses help students watching or listening reflect on the discussion and formulate their own responses.

  • mini-pauses help to pace your presentation and allow processing time for the interpreter, captionist, and student.

    • ex:  If lecturing rapidly, please consider adding stops for yourself 

    • ex: more and more on Zoom folks reading off scripts, students, faculty in webinars - please realize when people read off scripts, whether signing or speaking, there is a tendency to speed up, drop natural conversational pauses, lose prosody etc

    •  when you ask qq's and leave time for reflection, one of the options is to ask for responses in chat...and if nothing after a little time, move on more prompts or give more examples


  • when a student/attendee contributes to the conversation, repeat/paraphrase the comments so all are sure to get the information

    Gallery View

  •  the view changes on everyone's screen - from gallery to just the interpreter tile, when interpreters spotlight, to ensure the interpreted version of the lecture is in the archived recording. Remind students/participants they can simply go back up to View, and click back to Gallery, to see the Professor/presenter and the rest of the students/participants

    Use the Annotation Laser Pointer

  • to make the slides and shared presentations much easier to eye track, use the RED Star Burst Laser pointer available in Zoom. This will help all, but especially DHH are tracking many things at once using vision only.  https://infoguides.rit.edu/c.php?g=1165516&p=850859

Consider Stakeholders and their Needs
This model recognizes all involved as partners: we understand that each of us has different communication styles and language modalities. We take this into consideration when communicating together.

This InfoGuide provides tips for working together as individuals with different language modalities: ie, signing, tactile signing, speaking, and hearing. This includes DHH, DB, those with learning differences, international, and Hearing individuals, and any combination of these.


  • presenter/host

  • participants 

  • interpreter 

  • captionist

  • note-taker

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