Working with Real-Time Captioning Services

Communicating with a deaf or hard of hearing student through Real-Time Captioning (RTC) can be a bit confusing at first, but here are some simple tips that will make it easier.

  • Real-Time Captioners (RTC) transcribes all communication content that is said in class; words appear on a laptop screen that is placed on the student's desk.

  • The RTC will need to be seated next to the student, in a chair, on a level surface, and have access to an electrical outlet by any aisle or side of the classroom.

  • Address any comments, questions, and concerns directly to the student, not the RTC. Please avoid saying "tell him or her that..."

  • Be aware of adequate lighting when making presentations, using overheads or showing films; student's ability to read the computer screen is very important.

  • Keep talking with your back to the class to a minimum, e.g., writing on the whiteboard. This tends to muffle your voice making it more difficult for the RTC to understand you.

  • Please provide the RTC a copy of any handouts or readings taken from any written material.

  • If possible, loan the RTC a textbook, provide a list of technical terms, and PowerPoint slides prior to the lecture in order for the RTC to prepare in advance.

  • If there is a class discussion, help moderate the pace so the student has an opportunity to participate. There are a few seconds of a delay between what you say and when the student receives the content.

  • Please encourage students to work around the placement of the RTC and student for group activates for safety purposes and sensitivity to time since the RTC equipment would need to be set up each time it is relocated.

  • Please refrain from over-annunciating. While reading the tendency is to talk faster, please slow down the rate of speed.

  • Any extra out of class assignments, class meetings, or study groups, the D/HH has to submit an RTC request. We require 72-hour notice in order to find an RTC. Please keep this in mind when assigning extra activities.

  • Please ensure all videos are closed captioned. Important information may be missed.

  • Legally, all information related to the student's disability must remain confidential.

If you have any questions about using Captioning Services, please ask the student or RTC. You may also call Dianna Clayton at the SSD Office (559) 278-2811 or email at