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. 

Critical Concepts

Steps to Take

ASL Interpretation When Sharing Video Only

Instructors/hosts need to spotlight the ASL interpreter’s video in Zoom. To do this:

    1. Make sure you are in active speaker view (one large video feed with smaller video feeds above it).
    2. Right-click on the interpreter’s video and select "Spotlight Video" or "Spotlight for Everyone"

      Screenshot: Showing where Spotlight Video option is located in the menu

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:

  1. Spotlight the interpreter's video as you would when sharing video only. (see above)
  2. 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.

    Screenshot: Example of which option will show one video on your screen when you screenshare

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.

  1. Right-click the current interpreter’s video feed and select "Remove Spotlight”.
  2. 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:

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.

If you still have questions or need additional assistance, please submit a Zoom Request Form.