Telehealth Intervention: Closed Captioning

I have talked before about how every conversation is really three conversations: what was said, what was meant, and what was heard. Recently I stumbled on another way to explain this phenomena to young children.

Note: Any references to clients, as always, are fictionalized.

close up photography of a cellphone
There are no good image results for “captions” or “subtitles”

One of Zoom’s many cool features is live closed captioning. While not perfect, the automatically generated captions can help Deaf or HOH folks understand what is being said in a video meeting, and they can help those with auditory processing issues follow along. They do not turn on automatically, and some might find them distracting, so they are certainly not mandatory if no one requires them.

Sometimes, kids will request closed captioning in a Zoom meeting, often not realizing what the function is. They then notice that the subtitles do not always accurately hear what we are trying to say and shows incorrect words.

Some kids get frustrated when the captions are wrong, though usually their response is amusement. “That’s not what you said! That makes no sense!”

Ask: When is a time you heard something that didn’t make sense? Did you find out later that you misunderstood? Or conversely, when is a time someone thought you were not making sense because they misunderstood you?

Even though the automatically generated captions exist to help people, they still get things wrong sometimes. Misunderstandings happen, and that’s okay! We can work through them.

Published by Dr Marschall

Dr. Amy Marschall received her Psy.D. from the University of Hartford in September 2015. She completed her internship at the National Psychology Training Consortium with specializations in assessment and rural mental health. Currently, she specializes in trauma-informed and neurodiversity-affirming care, and she is certified in telemental health. Dr. Marschall runs a private practice, RMH Therapy, where she provides individual and family therapy as well as psychological assessments across the lifespan. Dr. Amy Marschall is an author and professional speaker.

%d bloggers like this: