Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) have been increasingly important to employers, particularly as the “Great Resignation” has seen minorities leave the workplace at a staggering rate.
Despite the renewed focus on inclusion, success in this area has been a major challenge for companies. In fact, the communication platform Voodle listed inclusion among the key challenges for HR teams to address.
Nonetheless, hybrid and remote working has led to issues in creating a more inclusive environment. This can be because of a lack of clarity on remote calls as people talk over each other.
Zoom saw its value skyrocket over the pandemic, and the company has developed tools to make it more inclusive during this period.
This includes the inclusion of pronoun sharing during meetings in an effort to make “users feel more included, able to express themselves, and be seen.”
Its latest feature will help make the contents of meetings more accessible to those who are hard of hearing and those who struggle to understand the quick discussions on Zoom.
Zoom will introduce auto-generated captions, which automatically provide speaker subtitles on Zoom video meetings or webinars.
This function will be available across its paid and free services. If the Zoom account is part of a business, Zoom recommends that users “work with your account admin to enable this functionality via the web portal for all users.”
Captions can be used in three different ways.
There is live transcription, as well as the ability to manually assign someone to type captions during the meeting. Additionally, “Zoom integrates seamlessly with third-party closed captioning providers” by using its Closed Captioning REST API.
Speaking about the update Theresa Larkin, product marketing manager of meetings and chat at Zoom commented: “It’s important to us that everyone can successfully connect, communicate, and participate using Zoom.
“Without the proper accessibility tools, people with disabilities face tremendous barriers when using video communication solutions.
“That’s why we are focused on building out a platform that is accessible to everyone, and features such as auto-generated captions are an important part of that mission.”
Currently, Zoom offers other accessibility features like keyboard accessibility, pinning or spotlighting interpreter video, screen reader support, and voicemail transcription.
Zoom may have new features on the horizon as well, as it continues to call for user suggestions regarding how to make the platform even more inclusive. Watch this space.