RE: Forwarded from the Silver list W: Captioning Zoom Calls [was: Re: Agenda for Silver meeting of Tuesday, 12 May 2020]

To Janina

I’ve been giving some thought to this and I’m not sure that there’s an issue of on-the-record and off-the-record beyond the audio equivalent.

Here’s my thinking:

If there’s a teleconference, there is an expectation that the audio will not be recorded unless it’s specifically agreed to. Likewise the captions provided would not be recorded, i.e. not saved as a transcript or screen captured, unless previously agreed to.
If there is agreement of the audio to be recorded, discussion would be on the record. Likewise the saving of captions would be on the record.
If someone wants to discuss something off-the-record, either the audio or captions would be suspended for that portion of the meeting. Once back on the record, audio and captions would be saved. I don’t see there’d be a need to stop the captions, as the audio equivalent would not stop, it just wouldn’t’ be recorded.

So I think the solution to toggle between on- and off-the-record conversations is not about the presence or removal of captions, but to make sure that the toggle between saving recordings also applies to the saving of captions, i.e.. a mechanism that both audio and captions can be paused or stopped, and both can be simultaneously restored for recording. If there are formal minutes taken for a meeting that’s on-the-record, then neither the audio or captions would be saved so no issue there.

There is always the risk of someone taking a screen capture as you say, but I’d say it’s the similar risk of someone recording a snippet of audio

That’s my two cents anyway!


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From: Sajka, Janina <>
Sent: Friday, 22 May 2020 5:17 AM
Subject: Forwarded from the Silver listFW: Captioning Zoom Calls [was: Re: Agenda for Silver meeting of Tuesday, 12 May 2020]

RQTF Colleagues:

Forwarding an email from my other W3C identity because it contains a requirement we might want to consider for our RTC requirements as well as for our telecommunications guidance.

The interesting requirement wrinkle is the notion of on record vs. off record conversations.

  *   People have always done things like that on W3C calls; and side conversations are standard human behavior. But how to serve the person who’s deaf or hearing impaired?

  *   There are likely some legal constraints that we will have to clearly note and say “we don’t do that, we just do technology.”

  *   I imagine the a11y requirement is some kind of host operable toggle in the captioning service (whether human or automated) that facilitates going on and off record for the preserved transcript, but continues to provide captions meanwhile.

  *   And, the above toggle can be defeated by any participant performing a screen capture. So, does that mean there’s no such thing as off record conversation when captioning is made available?

OK. I wanted to make sure this got to our consideration.



From: Jeanne Spellman <<>>
Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2020 12:20 PM
To: Makoto Ueki <<>>;<>
Cc: Shawn Lauriat <<>>; Jennifer Chadwick <<>>; David Fazio <<>>; Dirks, Kim (TR Product) <<>>; Michael Cooper <<>>; Silver TF <<>>
Subject: RE: [EXTERNAL] Captioning Zoom Calls [was: Re: Agenda for Silver meeting of Tuesday, 12 May 2020]

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the organization. Do not click links or open attachments unless you can confirm the sender and know the content is safe.

I think we all agree that captioning would be helpful for meeting attendees.  I certainly would appreciate and use it myself, as I find reading less fatiguing than listening.

However, we presently don't have an a disability accommodation request.  It is more difficult to find funding for captioning without an accommodation request. I would be delighted to have people with hearing disabilities participate in the group. It is a chicken-and-egg problem, because people don't want to participate unless they have an accommodation.

Captions would not replace IRC, however.  Captions would not provide an archived meeting record, which we need by W3C advice to working groups.  And I don't think we should dismiss that need.  On many many occasions, I have searched the W3C archives for meeting minutes.  We also would not want the official meeting minutes to be the result of captions, as it would preclude any casual or confidential conversation that we did not want in the permanent record.  I personally would find it exhausting to "always be on the record".  IRC minutes are intended to be more of a summary of main points than everything that is said.

There are  two problems (as I understand it):

  *   Finding a free captioning service or autocaptioning service,  or finding a captioning service that a W3C member company was willing to pay for.
  *   Setting up someone in the group as a "host"  to be able to start the service each meeting.

These are both solvable problems.  If anyone knows of a free auto-captioning service, or works for a company that has a pro Zoom membership and a relationship with a captioning company that would be willing to include our Zoom calls as part of the service, please let me know.  Michael is working on the "host" problem from the W3C end.  I have looked at several "free captioning services" and the ones I have seen are attached to a commitment to the provider of the captions for other paid services. I am happy to be wrong about this, if anyone knows of one.

W3C is experimenting with captioning for a few meetings.  I don't know how the funding was arranged for the meetings, but I am watching the results.  So the other option we have is to wait and see what W3C decides to do and how it will be paid for.  But until something else is decided within W3C, and lacking an accommodation request, we will need to pursue solutions ourselves.

I have been searching the Zoom site and have not found auto-captioning as a service they provide. Again, I would love to be wrong about that.

On 5/12/2020 9:33 PM, Makoto Ueki wrote:
Hi Michael and all,

Thank you so much for checking in. I thought it was the automated captioning by using voice recognition technology. I turn the closed caption on when I use Google Meet or Skype. It really helpful and useful. I thought Zoom has the same kind of functionality. Now I understood it was not unfortunately.

Okay. I'm gonna try to use UD Talk which is a free application. It provides real-time automated caption and automated translation. I use it at seminars, conferences and webinar I host and it works very well. I've never used the app for online meetings. But it should work.

And it might be another discussion whether IRC works well or not for attendees. IRC chat is helpful, but it looks it put a burden on attendees who scribe. We need to keep the discussion if needed. Technology may allow us to have more inclusive meeting and reduce the burden of attendees.

It seems there are some services out there.


2020年5月13日(水) 4:06 lucia greco <<>>:
lucia Greco
follow me on twitter @accessaces

On Tue, May 12, 2020 at 8:51 AM Shawn Lauriat <<>> wrote:
Definitely +1, especially as we've had more than one person note difficulty understanding speech on our calls this week alone. Thanks, Michael! And thank you, Makoto, for raising this!


On Tue, May 12, 2020 at 11:42 AM Jennifer Chadwick <<>> wrote:
Thanks, David.


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From: David Fazio <<>>
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 11:38 AM
To: Dirks, Kim (TR Product) <<>>
Cc: Michael Cooper <<>>; Shawn Lauriat <<>>; Makoto Ueki <<>>; Silver TF <<>>; Jeanne Spellman <<>>
Subject: Re: Captioning Re: Agenda for Silver meeting of Tuesday, 12 May 2020

+1 to Makoto and Kim. It would help for us cognitively impaired Also, which I am. If we need accessibility reasons I would be one of the disabilities it would benefit

Scribing is sporadic, not very well articulated summaries of speakers comments. I think it’s not very useful, for captioning purposes. I believe Janina mentioned a few months ago that zoom has a plugin for auto captioning.
This message was Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse any typographic errors.

On May 12, 2020, at 8:31 AM, Dirks, Kim (TR Product) <<>> wrote:

Hi Michael,

I’m a big fan of captions and would like to see the W3C explore options to get them active. Also wondering if we could replace scribing with captions?



From: Michael Cooper <<>>
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2020 10:25 AM
To: Shawn Lauriat <<>>; Makoto Ueki <<>>
Cc: Silver TF <<>>; Jeanne Spellman <<>>
Subject: Captioning Re: Agenda for Silver meeting of Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Closed captioning is enabled in calls I have set up. It has to be turned on in a given call by the host (me, unless I find a way to designate someone else). Once enabled, we can assign someone in the call to enter captions, or enable a third party service. In the first case I do not know if participant-entered captions would be more meaningful than the IRC scribing we already do. For third party services, I do not know if W3C has contracts with existing services nor what the costs would be. W3C would do something about that if needed to support accessibility of a given call. I think the organization would be less likely to take on those costs for language comprehension support (unless clearly accessibility related), though if there is sufficient demand it's certainly something to consider. Michael
On 12/05/2020 9:28 a.m., Shawn Lauriat wrote:

I definitely support this, though I don't know how to set it up. Jeanne? Michael?


On Mon, May 11, 2020 at 10:10 PM Makoto Ueki <<>> wrote:
Shawn, Jeanne and Michael

I'm wondering if it is possible to use Zoom's "Closed Captioning" during our meetings. It will make it easier for those who don't speak English regularly (like me) to understand and follow discussions in English. And it'll allow web accessibility experts who are deaf or hard of hearing to join our group.

I've been thinking about this for many years. Now we just started using Zoom which has "Closed Captioning" functionality. Will it be possible??


2020年5月12日(火) 0:00 Shawn Lauriat <<>>:
agenda+ Follow-up on action items from virtual face-to-face
agenda+ Check-in with subgroups<>, refer to the Guideline Checklist<>
agenda+ Decide on new migration guideline to work on

New tuesday call info<> - please note that we've moved to Zoom! We'll monitor IRC for any reports of issues, and we still have WebEx available as a fallback option if anyone does have trouble dialing in.

Received on Monday, 25 May 2020 06:41:53 UTC