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Resources

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

  1. 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.) 
  2. 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.”
  3. Consider if ASL English interpretation is required (or provide as default for larger scale events). 
  4. If registration is required ensure more than one method is available to register. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Provide invitation in advance to request a recording of meeting if needed.  

Leading up to event

  1. Ensure meeting facilitators have completed the Accessible Customer Service Training (available on Learn for all employees). 
  2. Review your presentation materials and update them where needed to meet accessibility guidelines for communication. Guidelines can be found at: 
    1. Accessibility Guidelines for Staff Training
    2. Flexible Online Delivery Model – Accessibility
  3. Learn how to use the Accessibility Checker on Microsoft (Word, PPT etc.) 
  4. Pay attention to your presentation style and instructional techniques when preparing for meeting to ensure that you do not create unintended barriers for some. 
  5. Learn what alt-text is, and start incorporating it into your materials where needed. 
  6. 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. 
  7. If designing activities for the workshop/meeting, ensure accessibility is considered and met. 
  8. 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.
  9. Give notice about questions that participants might be asked to respond to, even icebreakers.
  10. 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

  1. Announcement should be made to invite participants to discuss accessibility needs. 
  2. 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).
  3. Inform attendees if the meeting will be recorded.  
  4. 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.
  5. Pin meeting ASL English interpreters on the screen so they are always visible and accessible. 
  6. Any important announcements for the meeting should be delivered in written and spoken form.
  7. Speakers’ faces should be well-lit and clearly seen.
  8. Facilitator should speak clearly and at a moderate pace. 
  9. Facilitator should consider pausing periodically to allow for note-taking and for audience to absorb information. 
  10. Facilitator must provide a verbal description of visual aids such as charts, graphs, images, tables etc. 
  11. Plain language should be used during meetings. 
  12. Provide multiple ways for attendees to ask questions (e.g., chat feature, raise hand feature)
  13. If using the chat feature, read all chat entries aloud.
  14. Ensure to build in breaks for longer meetings. 

References

Questions or concerns?

Reach out to diversity@rrc.ca for more information.