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Speaker Guide: Requesting Live Captioning for Your Presentation

When speaking at an event, it’s an inclusion best practice to request live captioning for your session to ensure that participants can fully engage in your talk.

Steps to Request Live Captioning

Below are steps you can take to request live captioning for your next presentation:

  1. Connect with the session organizer and confirm whether the event will be captioned.
  2. If not, make the case for captioning the event — or at least your session. Sometimes, organizers have not gotten a captioning request before and simply do not think of the potential need for captions.
  3. Bring facts. Let them know:
  4. If the event does not have a budget for live captioning, ask whether the organizer plans to record and make the sessions available. If so, they might consider captioning the recordings. While live captioning is ideal, captioning recordings can be a lower-cost compromise.


“Hello, [organizer name]! I am looking forward to my upcoming presentation. I wanted to check if the event will have live captioning so that all attendees (virtual and in-person) can fully participate. If you were not planning to caption the event, I would like to request captioning for my session. I am happy to provide information on hiring a professional live captioner. Thank you, [Your name]”

Additional Tips

  • If your session is focused on topics such as human-centered design, usability, accessibility, disability inclusion and/or the engagement challenges of hybrid events, use your talking points! Explain that it is essential to model the best practices that you will be speaking about.
  • Explain how captioning helps a wide range of attendees and contributes to the overall success of the event. In addition to the many people who require captions to attend, they have also been proven to increase focus and comprehension for all users, regardless of disability.

Why Captioning Is Essential

Captioning may be needed even if the organizer has not received a formal request from participants. Many attendees may assume that the event will not be accessible or are tired of asking for accommodations. By requesting live captioning, you show organizers that you value inclusion in your presentations. The more you do this, the more people will be able to fully participate in live and virtual events.

Depending on who is hosting or sponsoring the presentation, captioning might also be required under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Continue to Handling Other Accommodation Requests