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An important part of making Zoom sessions and recordings accessible is allowing ASL interpreters to easily be seen and understood. This can be accomplished by taking a few additional steps when in a Zoom meeting.

Interpreters, instructors, and students can enter meetings via myCourses. Specific instructions about Zoom meetings can be found in our course resources for faculty. If an interpreter does not have myCourses access, a link to the meeting must be sent to them in order to join.

Table of Contents



Configure Settings (Host)

  • Recording Types: Before you start your meeting, go to https://rit.zoom.us/Click Settings, then the Recording tab. Check “Record active speaker, gallery view and shared screen separately”, and then check "Active speaker”, “Gallery view”, and “Shared screen” below it. This will produce what RIT calls a "dynamic recording". While this recording view is the most useful view, it does not automatically populate in myCourses (review the Known Issues list for details). Instead you will Share the Recording Link (review section below).


    To best manage storage space, only choose the recording views that you really need. ILI recommends that you leave "Record active speaker with shared screen" checked since this view automatically populates in myCourses, and leave "Record gallery view with shared screen" unchecked as it is not as useful of a view as the dynamic recording. You can decide to leave "Record an audio only file" checked or uncheck it depending on the needs of your students.

  • Keep Private Chat On: Interpreters rely on the Zoom private chat feature to communicate with professors, supported students, and fellow interprets.  Before you schedule your meeting, confirm that in your https://rit.zoom.us/ profile settings, that the Chat and Private Chat are both toggled to On.
    Chat and private chat settings toggled to on

  • Authentication: If using the Only Authenticated Users Can Join setting, make sure to use the RIT Approved Domains option (the default). This option has both RIT accounts and the main interpreter contractor accounts configured for access. If an interpreter cannot get into your meeting, have the interpreter send you their work email address. Edit your profile settings in https://rit.zoom.us/ and add their domain (everything after the @ in their email address) to the RIT Approved Domains list. If the interpreter does not have a work email address, follow the recommendations at FAQ about captionists/interpreters and security settings.

During the Live Session (Host)

Only the instructor(s) and the interpreter(s) should share video, not the students. This is to help with technical bandwidth concerns and to better facilitate the process described on this page. Students should participate in the live session by typing in the chat.

  • When recording, choose the cloud recording option due to the improved playback and sharing that is part of this option. For more details on cloud recording, review Recording to the Cloud.
  • To enable interpreters to spotlight themselves and easily switch between interpreters, the host should make the interpreters co-hosts.
    • Open the participant’s list, find the interpreter, and click the More > button next to their name.
      More button is next to mute button on a participant.
    • In the menu, select Make Co-Host.
      menu indicating the Make Co-host option
  • After the interpreter has spotlit themself, the interpreter will be the larger video on the screen as long as the participants stay in Speaker View. 
    • IMPORTANT: Do not spotlight more than one person. This will make it so spotlighting is not retained in the recording. For more details, review the Known Issues list.
    • If a participant does not want to view the interpreter large on the screen, the participant can instead change to Gallery View by clicking the Gallery View button. This will only change that one participant's screen. It will not change the instructor's screen or the recording.
      gallery view button
  • Interpreting can also be provided during Breakout Room sessions in ZoomInterpreters must be assigned to the same breakout room as their supported student(s).  It is a good idea to notify all students that you will be using breakout rooms ahead of time.  Students who use interpreting services will need to alert you that their service provider should be assigned to the same breakout room with them. Interpreters cannot disclose who their supported students are due to confidentiality restrictions. If multiple students benefit from an interpreter and there is only one interpreter assigned to support your class, place those students and the interpreter in the same breakout room together.
  • At the end of session, make sure to stop the recording before you end the meeting. This helps with the auto-transcription process. For details on the auto-transcription process, review Working with auto-generated captions in ZoomThe auto-transcription of recordings is separate from having live captions typed during the meeting. For details on live captioning, review Enabling a Captionist in Zoom.

Share the Recording Link (Host)

  1. Go to https://rit.zoom.us/ and click Recordings.

  2. Click the meeting topic name you want to share.

  3. Click the Copy shareable link button.
    Recording Settings, click Copy Shareable Link button.

  4. Share the link with students through the myCourses Content tool or Announcements tool. You can also use other means (e.g. email) to share this with others who need to watch the recording.


Note: The recording link can also be obtained from the confirmation email from Zoom that the cloud recording is ready.

Considerations When Working with an ASL Interpreter (Host)

Beyond the technical steps required for working with interpreters in Zoom, there are other best practices for ensuring an effective meeting:

  • Since interpreters will only be interpreting the instructor’s speech, all questions from students will have to occur through the chat tool on Zoom. Check the chat regularly.

  • When reading questions from the chat box, make sure to restate the question before answering it. This will ensure that both the question and answer are interpreted for students.

  • Take breaks regularly. Taking a break from instruction every 5 to 7 minutes will provide instructors a natural opportunity to check for student understanding, and provide interpreters the chance to quickly rest or swap with another interpreter if another one is in attendance.

By following these best practices, we believe that the needs of all students can be met. Following these recommendations will ensure that both synchronous and asynchronous sessions will be accessible to our students.



While Watching, Adjust the View on the Recording (Participants)

The person watching the recording will click the link to watch the recording. They will have to take additional steps to make the ASL interpreter easily visible in the recording.

  1. If the recording includes a screen share and two or more video streams, complete Step 1a. If the recording includes a screen share and only one video stream, jump to Step 2.

    1. Click the view button and choose Gallery View. The view button is next to the closed captioning button, and will enable students to see both you and the interpreter.
      View button, select Gallery View
  1. Hover between the shared screen and video streams (gallery view) until a blue line appears. Drag this line to the left in order to increase the size of the video streams, and make seeing the ASL interpretation easier.
    Blue line between screen share and video feeds



Change Log

DateChanges Made

3/17/2020

Original version with pinning.

3/25/2020

Changed instructions from “Pin Video” to “Spotlight Video”.

3/26/2020

Adjusted authentication settings to reflect new RIT recommendations.

4/13/2020

Changed instructions to multi-stream recording. Spotlighting the interpreter is still acceptable but provides a lower quality recording.

8/19/2020Changed instructions to give interpreters co-host permissions so they can spotlight themselves. Added information about interpreters in breakout rooms and keeping Private Chat active.
8/27/2020Added information about students switching to Gallery view if they don't want to see the spotlit person. Added recommendation to end recording before ending the meeting to help with transcription process.
10/8/2020Added note about not spotlighting more than one person. This causes issues in the recording.
10/21/2020Added details about adjusting your recording view types to only those you really need to meet the needs of your students.



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