The University of Liverpool approached VoiceBox to provide live captions and transcription for the National Postdoc Conference 2021 – an event that galvanised over 2000 participants to engage with industry stakeholders, funding agencies, policy influencers, research developers and career development professionals.
VoiceBox supplied a professional stenographer to transcribe the event live as it happened, with the transcription also then available to be read afterwards. This project required flexibility and a willingness to adapt, which VoiceBox was able to demonstrate to deliver a high-quality end result.
VoiceBox spoke to Dr Saneeya Qureshi, Head of Researcher Development and Culture, about the project:
How would you describe your organisation?
We are the University of Liverpool, a higher education institution in the UK. The Development Academy that I am based in provides all of the training and development of our staff, including our post-doctoral and early career researchers.
How did you first hear about VoiceBox’s live captioning services?
We hadn’t worked with you in the past, which I cannot believe! But it was through word-of-mouth. Other colleagues suggested VoiceBox as they were aware of your services and reputation.
When we were awarded a bid to host the conference, we knew we wanted to make it as inclusive as possible, and one of the primary ways to do so was to ensure our captions and transcription were of the best quality.
We have a mission statement that has inclusivity, accessibility, equity and equality of opportunity at its heart. To be genuine in achieving our mission, we knew that our event had to be as accessible as possible.
Why did VoiceBox accessible solutions stand out?
With VoiceBox, it wasn’t just about providing a transcript. It was about supplying a platform where people who needed accessible features, such as those with dyslexia or English as a second language, could choose from different options. For example, slowing down caption speed or changing the size or colour of fonts.
Additionally, we were impressed by the prep work. VoiceBox asked us to send pre-event materials, including our institution’s house style and terminology.
Did you receive any feedback on our services?
Our live conference was praised as the gold standard of accessibility by the N8 Research Partnership -a collaboration of the eight most research intensive Universities in the North of England.
As well as this, we received positive feedback on Mural, our online evaluation forum for the Conference, such as: “I was very impressed by the use of a BSL interpreter and live captioning”
And: “The live captioning was actually very useful, as someone who did not need this facility to access the session, it was great to scroll back and check what had just been said, and so, improved my experience too!”
Did anything else impress you about our services?
Euan, our stenographer! The conference was quite a complex environment, and he was really flexible. He also had the confidence to give us insight into stenography and accessibility, which helped the panel to communicate more clearly for our audience.
Would you use VoiceBox again?
Definitely! And I hope making live events accessible becomes the norm.
Would you like to add anything else?
We are really thankful that VoiceBox were able to improve the quality of our very large event, and that they could help us fulfil our mission for inclusivity and accessibility.
Thanks to the team at VoiceBox for helping us raise the calibre of the conference!