Accessibility Standards for Remote Meetings/Events
As we organize larger scale meetings/events with internal or external stakeholders, it is important that we keep our commitments to accessibility and inclusion in mind. Please use the following as a guideline in your planning process:
When scheduling an event
- Know your platform (Webex, Teams, Zoom etc.) and find out how it can be adapted for accessibility (e.g. live captioning, recording of session etc.)
- Invitation for accommodation requests should be provided to participants at least 1-2 weeks in advance of an event and a contact person should be provided for accessibility questions. Please consider using a variation of this statement “Red River College is committed to providing barrier-free access to information, services and facilities. If you require accommodations for this event/meeting, please contact us at XXX@rrc.ca or 204-XXX-XXXX. Requests should be made by insert date.”
- Consider if ASL English interpretation is required (or provide as default for larger scale events).
- If registration is required ensure more than one method is available to register.
- Offer several format options for participants to join the meeting, if possible. (e.g. the ability to join meetings using audio and video from a device or to dial-in via a conference phone number from a telephone. This way participants can select the format that suits them best.
- Provide invitation to request meeting material (documents, PowerPoint etc.) in advance so that end users can re-format them or preview them as needed for accessibility.
- Provide invitation in advance to request a recording of meeting if needed.
Leading up to event
- Ensure meeting facilitators have completed the Accessible Customer Service Training (available on Learn for all employees).
- Review your presentation materials and update them where needed to meet accessibility guidelines for communication. Guidelines can be found at:
- Learn how to use the Accessibility Checker on Microsoft (Word, PPT etc.)
- Pay attention to your presentation style and instructional techniques when preparing for meeting to ensure that you do not create unintended barriers for some.
- Learn what alt-text is, and start incorporating it into your materials where needed.
- Arrange for live captioning, note taking or ASL English interpretation if required. If doing so consider turning off the meeting chat function for maximum accessibility.
- If designing activities for the workshop/meeting, ensure accessibility is considered and met.
- Share the format of the event (e.g. discussion vs. listening to a presentation) and how long it will run so attendees can plan around their needs.
- Give notice about questions that participants might be asked to respond to, even icebreakers.
- Ensure remote meetings have an assigned person to manage entry into the sessions so that people are not waiting in virtual “lobby” areas.
Day of meeting
- Announcement should be made to invite participants to discuss accessibility needs.
- Ground rules are introduced with input from participants to create inclusive atmosphere (what meeting functions are being used, how to raise a question/provide feedback).
- Inform attendees if the meeting will be recorded.
- For larger meetings, ask participants to state their name each time they speak so that attendees and ASL English interpreters and/or captioners know who is speaking.
- Pin meeting ASL English interpreters on the screen so they are always visible and accessible.
- Any important announcements for the meeting should be delivered in written and spoken form.
- Speakers’ faces should be well-lit and clearly seen.
- Facilitator should speak clearly and at a moderate pace.
- Facilitator should consider pausing periodically to allow for note-taking and for audience to absorb information.
- Facilitator must provide a verbal description of visual aids such as charts, graphs, images, tables etc.
- Plain language should be used during meetings.
- Provide multiple ways for attendees to ask questions (e.g., chat feature, raise hand feature)
- If using the chat feature, read all chat entries aloud.
- Ensure to build in breaks for longer meetings.
- Flexible Online Delivery Model Accessibility
- Accessibility Guidelines for Staff Training
- Accessibility Resources for Staff
- ASL-English Interpreters
Questions or concerns?
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.