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Leading More Accessible Meetings

Accessible-virtual-meetings
February 2, 2022 12:33 pm

Tips for Facilitating Accessible Zoom Meetings

Great meeting facilitators know that an integral part of leading an inclusive meeting includes ensuring that it is as accessible as possible for participants with audio or visual disabilities. Zoom has really taken the lead in the virtual meeting space with some wonderful features that can enhance the experience of all participants. The following suggestions are drawn from a Zoom Blog article that we endorse in our workshops.

Pre-Meeting

  • Provide materials ahead of time: Share slides or any other presentation materials that may be used during a meeting with participants ahead of time, and be sure they’re accessible documents. Tools like Microsoft’s Accessibility Checker can be a good place to start to help determine whether your Excel, Word, or other documents are accessible.
  • Mute all participants upon entry: Those with visual impairments rely heavily on audio from screen readers, so excess noise should be minimized when possible. Some users also may be sensitive to background buzzing noises.

Hosting:

  • Identify yourself before speaking: Hosts can encourage participants to identify themselves before speaking when in meetings with individuals who may be visually impaired.

Zoom Tips:

  • Turn on captioning: Zoom allows for manual closed captioning, integration with third-party closed captioning services, and automatic closed captioning called Live Transcription.
  • Use the Spotlight and Multi-Pin features: Zoom hosts can spotlight the interpreter and speaker videos so everyone sees them, no matter who is speaking. This feature can be used to spotlight sign language interpreters so their video feeds are easily located in large meetings. Hosts can also enable participants to pin multiple videos for their own custom view.

For the most up-to-date information on Zoom accessibility please visit zoom.us/accessibility.

Image via KODO

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