[community] Zoom vs Google Meet for captions?

Charles Silverman charlessilverman at me.com
Fri Nov 6 03:43:43 UTC 2020

My experience, as someone with hearing loss, is that quite often with automatic captioning, too much goes missing, too much is left to guesswork.

If the goal is to provide meaningful access, that is, engagement and participation for people needing captions, please use trained human caption writers (stenographically trained captioning is best, and voice writing, where the caption writer uses Dragon Dictate, isn’t bad).

I’ve spent a lot of time during the pandemic using depending on some of the available automated caption services such as Skype, Google Meet, Zoom (if you subscribe to one of Zoom’s professional packages), or available to you as a user in the form of an App for your iPhone or Android phone.

Most of my energy when using these services goes into attempts at re-constructing what I think I’ve heard, applying whatever context I have to work with. There’s a lot of cognitive overload in a process that often results in less than useful comprehension. It doesn’t help that with automatic captioning speakers are not identified, and basic grammatical conventions e.g., commas, question marks, periods, etc., go missing. 

There’s a lot more that could be said, but the skinny is, if you are the person organizing these events, have some mechanism for evaluating the quality and usefulness of the caption service that you’ve selected. 


Charles Silverman, M.Ed.
Sessional Instructor, Accessibility & Inclusive Design
Disability Studies, Ryerson University
Email: csilverman at ryerson.ca

> On Nov 5, 2020, at 9:35 PM, Brian Moore <bmoore at screenreview.org> wrote:
> I can't really comment on captions since I don't use them much. I have played with the auto captioning in teams just for fun while I was in a meeting I could actually hear and my screen reader actually did read me  pretty good captions.  All of them are fairly good for screen readers although zoom has done some extra things.  Personally, I am happy with whatever we pick that can include everyone.
> Contact me on skype: brian.moore
> follow me on twitter:
> http://www.twitter.com/bmoore123
> On 11/5/2020 8:43 PM, Cybele S wrote:
>> I've heard some people say Zoom is more accessible for screen reader users
>> and other people prefer Microsoft Teams.
>> This article says Google Meet is better for captions and someone else
>> recently told me that as well.
>> What solution do you all use for synchronous meetings?
>> https://www.fastcompany.com/90565930/im-deaf-and-this-is-what-happens-when-i-get-on-a-zoom-call?fbclid=IwAR2gI_zmOBpRGDcOZ0_dMK6PdOYp-KyrgVybTXF_7kQyO2cyEtv207_lcNw
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