Enabling and accessing live transcript and captions in Zoom classes, lectures and meetings

The LSE Disability and Wellbeing Service (DWS) has an arrangement with an external supplier (121 Captions) to provide high quality live captions for classes and lectures where there is a student requirement in connection with an inclusion plan. There are a number of essential steps that students and staff must perform to ensure that professional captioners can access the Zoom class/lecture so that live captions can be provided.

Also see the separate LSE guide on how to enable automatic live transcription and captions for Zoom meetings. Remember that automatic transcription will be less accurate than provided by our external supplier of high quality captions.

For students

  1. Once your requirement for live captions has been authorised by DWS, you must book a 121 captioner by emailing the dates and times for classes and lectures for which you require live captions. The details should be sent in good time to: bookings@121captions.com.

  2. Please also include a valid Zoom link provided by your teacher (usually via Moodle) for each of your session bookings. If this is not available at the time of booking this MUST be followed up with a Zoom link as soon as it is available. Please note that some teachers use the same Zoom link for every session, others create a new link for each session. Please be sure to provide the correct link for each session. As a backup, please also provide the Zoom meeting ID and passcode separately.

  3. Inform your teacher as soon as you have booked live closed captions for your classes, as your teacher will need to send preparation materials and assign the captioner in the Zoom meeting. If you prefer to use the 1CapApp instead of just Zoom then you will need to ask your teacher to also send an API token to 121 Captions.

  4. Please see the Zoom Closed Captions guide for details on how to view live captions in your class/lecture.

For teachers

If one of your students has booked live captions for one of your classes/lectures you will: 1) need to send some preparation materials to 121 Captions and 2) ensure that the professional captioner has been assigned to type captions in the Zoom meeting. You should have also received a notification from your department that one or more of your students requires live captions.

  1. Please send preparation materials to bookings@121captions.com as soon as you are notified by one of your students that a professional captioner has been booked. Preparation materials can include presentation slides or lecture/class notes so that the captioner is familiar with subject specific terminology and names etc.

  2. When you are ready for your class/lecture, start your Zoom meeting as normal. You may need to ask the captioner to identify themselves. Once you know who will be providing captions for the meeting, you must click on the Live Transcript button, and then click on the Assign a participant to type and assign the captioner.

Screen grab showing the Zoom live transcript options highlighting assign a participant to type


If you receive a request for an API token

Some students may ask you to send an API token to 121 Captions if they prefer to view captions in a slightly different way. If you receive such a request then follow the steps below. This needs to be done ahead of the meeting, but within 24 hours of the meeting start time.


  1. Open your Zoom meeting as if you were starting the class/lecture.

  2. Click on the Live Transcript button at the bottom of the Zoom window (circled below).

  3. Click on the Copy the API token button (underlined below)

    Screen grab showing the Zoom live transcript options highlighting assign a participant to type
  4. Paste the API token (a long URL/link) into a new email and send this with full details for the Zoom meeting (time, date, student, LSE course). This must be sent immediately to: bookings@121captions.com.

  5. You can now close the meeting ready to be restarted later.

  6. Remember, this must be done before but within 24 hours of your class/lecture start time.


Please contact the Disability and Wellbeing Service if you have any questions about the service provided by 121 Captions.