Virtual Classes Are Leaving Disabled Employees Behind (this is how to fix it)

By Guest Author | edtech | February 25, 2021

Is your business working virtually? Like many businesses up and down the US, working virtually has become the norm, and a lot of workplaces are embracing this new way of working with open arms. For most employees, working virtually is great, and it allows them to be more comfortable in their own environment, but for employees that have hearing issues and processing issues, working virtually can be a nightmare, especially when it comes to listening to training materials and live webinars.

Live Audio Issues

For employees that have hearing issues, hearing aids are usually a great solution. Most of the time, you may not even notice they’re wearing them, but as we move towards a more virtual world with Zoom calls and webinars being done with poor quality audio, this can make it extremely difficult for people who suffer from hearing issues to participate fully.

Live Training: Getting It Right

For most pre-recorded training, getting good captions isn’t that hard, but if you are presenting your training live over a webinar, it might seem like an impossible feat.

For anyone who has ever sat through a YouTube live video with live captions, you’ll know the struggle of trying to figure out exactly what is being said from the garbled mess that you’ll see on the bottom of the screen. However, there are now software solutions available to businesses to allow them to create CART captions, live transcribed captions with over 99% accuracy, and delivered with a delay of only a few seconds rather than a delay of minutes, hours, or even weeks for some!

Helping Employees Concentrate

Investing in live transcribing and captioning is a great way to make your workplace more accessible for those with hearing issues, but it’s also good for those who don’t have hearing issues but may prefer captions anyway.

With more of us working from home, the constant interruptions of kids, dogs, partners, and next door’s mower going can make it seem nearly impossible to concentrate on what’s going on on-screen if they need to listen to what’s being said.

The social media world has known for years that users prefer to watch videos with the sound turned off, to save on disruptions, and for people working remotely who don’t want to wear earphones all day, being able to read what’s going on (sometimes including audio descriptions too) is a really helpful feature to add.

Inclusive Education

Like many reasonable adjustments, getting live captions for your education materials doesn’t just mean those with disabilities will have an easier time of it, but it means you’re opening up your office and workplace for all kinds of people and all kinds of learners.

Inclusivity is about respecting everyone’s preferred way of learning, whether they have a disability or not, and something like transcriptions can be a huge help to learners that respond better to reading and writing over learning by visuals or audio alone.