Best Practices for Using Video Remote Interpreting

  • Familiarize yourself with accessibility requirements. ADA Requirements also extend into virtual services.  
  • Plan ahead. When it comes to accessibility, two things ring true: plan for accessibility from the very beginning and always ask attendees what their access needs are. In all communication about the meeting, make it clear what accommodations are available and how to make a request. The more notice you can provide to secure those services, the better. Providers get booked up very quickly, so time is of the essence!
  • Meet with your DSU providers ahead of time. Discussing technical settings and procedures will help to ensure a successful meeting. Invite the Deaf or hard-of-hearing participants to be involved in the meeting.  This can be done through a separate ‘dry run’ process or signing on early the day of the event.
  • Start early. Allow at least 15-20 minutes before the meeting to ensure all accommodations are in place.
  • Provide prep materials. Providing copies of presentations, scripts, materials, slide decks, attendee lists, etc. all help DSU providers to prepare and have a better understanding of the content and context in which it will be presented.  Your DSU coordinator will be the main point of contact and will ensure all materials are provided to your assigned interpreters and captioners. 
  • Manually create breakout rooms when using interpreters or captioners. If participants are using interpreters and/or captioners, the meeting host will need to manually create the breakout rooms or otherwise ensure the provider is added to the same breakout room as the individual(s) using the interpreter or captioner.  It is also important to note that when breakout rooms end and attendees re-join the full group session, all assignment, spotlighting, and/or pinning settings must be reinstated.  Allow a couple of extra minutes for this to occur.
  • Plan for questions. Many events have Q&A sessions. It’s important to consider how to provide instructions to your audience regarding how to ask questions during the event.  Hand-raising and chat features are popular options.  Our recommendation is to use both features but to always repeat questions that are provided through chat. By repeating the questions, you will assist anyone that can’t access the chat during the session, and you will improve the captioning quality of any recorded sessions.
  • If you are using Zoom, choose the correct recording layout. There are several recording layouts for local and cloud recordings depending on the video layout of your meeting. Some recording layouts are available with local recordings, some with cloud recordings, and some that are available for both, but which video layout is captured depends on the type of recording.