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Tips for Working with Interpreters in Zoom

Wi-Fi vs Wired Connection

Plan ahead for Zoom meetings, and as often as possible, join the meetings from a location where you can use a fast, reliable wired Internet connection. A wired connection will reduce the amount of “ghosting” that could occur with video interpreting.

 Share Your Class Zoom Links

It will be your responsibility to make sure that SDS has the links for each class or meeting. Let us know if the same link will be used for every class meeting. As instructors share those links, share them via email at

Share the Links for Group Meetings/Labs

If you have a meeting for group projects, lab, etc., make sure the links for those meetings are emailed to

Picture Quality

Please remember, just as interpreters need to be seen clearly and with contrasted clothing, so do you. Be mindful of:

  • Proper light. Bright windows, brightly lit rooms, or very dark rooms can make visibility difficult. If lights are coming from behind you or if there is no light at all, it will be hard to see your hands.
  • Contrasted clothing. What you wear is even more important through video, so consider what you are wearing and also how it looks against your background.
  • Using virtual backdrops. Often these backdrops cause portions of the body to appear “missing” so interpreters may not be able to see your hands clearly enough to interpret.

Zoom Multi-Pin

Zoom has launched new features that include Multi-Pin and Multi-Spotlight. Users can now pin multiple videos to keep the most important content in place (i.e. the speaker and two interpreters). Only the user pinning the videos will be able to see multiple videos on screen and can adjust the placement of videos as they prefer.

The host (instructor) first has to give you permission to multi-pin (see Faculty Guide to Using Zoom).  Once permission is granted, users may right-click on the video they want to pin and then choose Pin. This can be done multiple times, as needed.  If Multi-pin is not an option, you may need to upgrade to the latest zoom version.

Be Flexible!

We want this experience to be as successful as possible. Your feedback is necessary to improve services and ensure a great experience while at UTK. Please share any feedback with Heather Webb. As a backup, we recommend exchanging phone numbers with your interpreters, so you can text each other when problems arise. As a last resort, Facetime, Google Duo, or Google Hangouts can be used if problems are occurring with zoom.