Zoom to provide automatic closed captioning for all free accounts

alexsl/iStockBy CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Zoom said it will start providing live transcription services for free accounts in a bid to boost accessibility.

Jen Hill, the company’s product marketing manager, made the announcement in a blog post on Wednesday, saying the update that provides automatic closed captioning should be available to all users later this fall.

In the meantime, meeting hosts who require live transcription services can request the feature ahead of time via an online form.

“As part of our commitment to connecting users across the world, we are focused on continually enhancing our features to provide a platform that is accessible to all of the diverse communities we serve,” Hill wrote in the post.

Hill said that those who fill out the form to request the service ahead of time should receive a confirmation email with additional details.

“Since we expect a high volume of requests, we appreciate your patience as we work to make automatic closed captioning available for all of our users,” she added.

As the coronavirus pandemic forced businesses and schools to go virtual seemingly overnight, Zoom use in the U.S. has skyrocketed.

The virtual shift broke down certain barriers to access that many in the disabled community fought for for years as work-from-home accommodations allowed more people to be included where they otherwise may not have been, but the shift also exposed technological hurdles.

Many advocates were quick to applaud Zoom’s announcement on Twitter.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.