Enabling for American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters
This article goes over strategies and features that will allow ASL interpreters to be easily seen in Zoom meetings.
- We recommend that only the instructor(s)/host(s) and the interpreter(s) share video, not the students. This is to help with technical bandwidth concerns and to better facilitate the process below. Students should participate in the live session by typing in the chat.
- During the live session, everyone will see the interpreter as a larger video and the instructor/host as a smaller video (or not at all if screen sharing is used). If students want to adjust this so all video feeds are equal sized, they can adjust their view to Gallery View.
- When recording, choose the cloud recording option due to the improved playback and sharing that is part of this option.
- In the recording, the interpreter will be shown but the instructor/host will not be visible. Screen sharing content is visible, if used. This is not adjustable.
Steps to Take
ASL Interpretation When Sharing Video Only
Instructors/hosts need to spotlight the ASL interpreter’s video in Zoom. To do this:
- Make sure you are in active speaker view (one large video feed with smaller video feeds above it).
- Right-click on the interpreter’s video and select "Spotlight Video" or "Spotlight for Everyone"
Note: The option to spotlight video will only show up when there are 3 or more people in the meeting and the person is sharing their video. Refer to the Zoom documentation for more information on Spotlighting Participant's Video
ASL Interpretation When Screen Sharing
To be able to see the interpreter and the screen share at the same time:
- Spotlight the interpreter's video as you would when sharing video only. (see above)
- Click on the active speaker icon (single box icon) (see arrow in image below). This creates a pop-up window with the interpreter next to the shared screen. This window can be moved or adjusted in size as needed.
Changing the Interpreter
When a course uses two interpreters, the instructor needs to remove the spotlight from the current interpreter then spotlight the new interpreter. This process needs to be done each time the interpreter changes.
- Right-click the current interpreter’s video feed and select "Remove Spotlight”.
- Right-click the new interpreter’s video feed and select "Spotlight Video" or "Spotlight for Everyone."
Considerations When Working with an ASL Interpreter
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.