UNF Center for Instruction and Research Technology

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New Zoom Accessibility Feature – Sign Language Interpretation

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The newest Zoom version creates a more accessible environment for sign language interpretation. For Zoom users who are part of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community, this feature will make it easier for sign language interpreters to stay visible on the screen by allowing interpreters to provide their own video channel. Participants can view the interpreter channel and resize or relocate the video window as needed.


  • The host must have a Zoom account
  • Sign language interpretation must be enabled in the account settings for both the host and participant
  • The host must select the Sign language interpretation check box when scheduling a meeting or webinar
  • The host must use the most recent Zoom desktop client Windows version 5.11.3 or macOS version 5.11.3
  • The participant must also use the most recent Zoom desktop client version 5.11.3, but they can also use the most recent Zoom mobile app version 5.12.0, or the Zoom web client


  • This feature does not offer sign language interpreters; hosts must provide and assign users as sign language interpreters in the meeting or webinar.
  • At this time, the recording will not include sign language interpreters’ videos.
  • Hosts cannot use this feature with Personal Meeting IDs (PMI). Hosts must generate the meeting or webinar ID automatically to include the sign language interpretation view.
  • Hosts must join the meeting or webinar through the Zoom desktop client to manage and initiate interpretation. They cannot join using other clients, such as the Zoom mobile app or web client.
  • This feature must be selected when scheduling a meeting or webinar and thus cannot be used for an instant meeting.

Steps for using the Sign Language Interpretation

1. Enable: Log into your UNF Zoom account at unf.zoom.us and enable the Sign Language interpretation view in settings (optional – check the box to enable sign language interpretation by default in scheduler).

Zoom In Meeting (Advanced) Sign Language interpretation view

2. Schedule: Schedule your Zoom meeting and select the checkbox next to Select sign language interpretation. If you have the interpreter’s email address, you can enter it. Alternatively, you can manually assign the interpreter during the meeting or webinar.

Zoom Interpretation - select sign language interpretation video channels

3. Start Meeting or Webinar: When you start the Zoom meeting or webinar, click the interpretation icon, and start the interpretation feature for the meeting. When the host starts interpretation, sign language interpreters will not be allowed to unmute their microphones unless the host permits.  
To give a sign language interpreter permission to speak in the session by unmuting their microphone: 

  • In the meeting controls toolbar, click the Participants  icon. 
  • Hover over the name of the interpreter, then click Allow to talk. 
    The sign language interpreter’s video will broadcast into the primary session in addition to their assigned video channel. They will see a prompt with the choice to unmute or stay muted. 

See this Zoom support article for more detailed information about using this feature, and contact CIRT for support with Zoom accessibility.   

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Wendy Poag
CIRT | Instructional Designer