So a local mom has made public a petition today, which has already made our local news due to several hundred signatories, about switching our school district from Microsoft Teams to Zoom. Zoom requires a human interpreter to generate captions, while Teams (and Meet) both autogenerate captions (no, it’s not perfect, but neither is a human captioner). My concern is that, if this goes through, schools, which are already and often strapped for cash, won’t pay to have an interpreter for class sessions, thus disenfranchising Deaf/deaf/hard of hearing students.
So, I did some research and dug up her e-mail address and e-mailed her. Surprisingly, she wrote back that she’s doing this because she has a hard of hearing (she used the phrase “hearing impaired” sigh…) child and that auto captions are inadequate. I wrote her back and explained that they’re better than no captions, which is a possible outcome of this plan (to say nothing of other Zoom concerns like security). I’m currently facing a potential no captions scenario for childbirth classes with my wife, because the hospital we use does the classes over, you guessed it, Zoom, and they’ve not been forthcoming with how they are offering captions if at all.
Anyway, venting / curious folks’ thoughts on this.