This is an image of a youtube video with subtitles. The image shows a cartoon style woman. an arrow points to the subtitles saying 'Closed caption'. Another arrow points to a button with 'CC' on it. The arrow says 'Closed caption toggle'.

8 ways to make the online events you facilitate consistent and accessible for your colleagues, volunteers and beneficiaries.

1. Housekeeping

When creating a presentation, add an Accessibility placeholder slide within your deck that references the following:

  • Facilitators should allow participants to contribute either verbally or through text
  • Provide information on task expectations/Consider providing clarity on what is 'enough'
  • Offer mixed methods of input
  • Allow for at least a 5 min break for every 1hr of sessions
  • All sessions should be recorded and made available to participants
  • Outline your agenda at start of meeting
  • Outline types of session interactivity. e.g. you will need to read, talk and type
  • Facilitators should offer the options at start of session that participants can opt in or out of depending on their needs

2. Clear and clean presentations

Design is important in accessibility. Avoid having watermarks (logo, stamp, or signature) on the majority of your slides (all slides) and have clear text to reduce visual distractions

3. Checklist for facilitators

As the facilitators, your role is important in creating an inclusive and welcoming learning environment. The following pointers should be helpful when facilitating:

  • Try and make sure that you’re in the centre of the video screen
  • Ensure that you’re in a well-lit room
  • Make sure you’ve tested your video
  • Check if everyone can hear and see the facilitator and hosts clearly
  • Internet is key. So try and check your internet connection ahead of time

Test your video

1. Sign in to Zoom

This is a image of the Sign in page on Zoom
This is a image of the Sign in page on Zoom

2. Click on your profile picture

3. Click on the 'Settings' tab

This is an image of the settings drop down option on Zoom
This is an image of the settings drop down option on Zoom

4. Click on 'Video'

5. You will see a preview! 😎

This is an image of the Video option on Zoom and within in the image is an image of Harriet Williams. Harriet has her thumb up and a wide smile on her face as she looks at the camera.
This is an image of the Video option on Zoom and within the image is an image of Harriet Williams. Harriet has her thumb up and a wide smile on her face as she looks at the camera.

4. Add descriptions to images

Images can help people absorb the material particularly if there are multiple images which can help explain complex issues.

Images can also be important for people with slow internet speeds, mental health challenges and those with disabilities (including learning).

Images should be accompanied by text, as reading a description of an image can give people the same opportunity as if they could see the image.

Example

126-1264166_monkey-baby-monkeys-the-evil-clip-art-cartoon.png

Less descriptive image description: An image of a monkey

More descriptive image description: A clip art image of a brown coloured monkey, that is swinging from a green branch with its left hand and holding a bunch of bananas in its right hand. The monkey has its eyes closed and a slight smile on its face.

5. Subtitles for video/audio content

Subtitles can convey vital information and boosts engagement. They can be helpful for many people as they boost comprehension. They also provide clarity and allow for access in sound sensitive environments.

Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 15.40.28.png
This is an image of a YouTube video with subtitles. The image shows a cartoon style woman. An arrow points to the subtitles saying 'Closed caption'. Another arrow points to a button with 'CC' on it. The text underneath the arrow says 'Closed caption toggle'.

6. Use text rather than images

The image reads: This is an image of text. It can't be highlighted, copied or read out by a screen reader, and it needs a text alternative.

This will ensure people with disabilities can access your content with screen readers. If you place text into your files as an image people who use screen readers will not be able to read the text. So remember to copy and paste your text or use alternative text rather than uploading the text as an image file.

7. Use clear video on calls

It ensures that everyone can access the content. It offers flexibility for people to access it their way. It will enable people of all abilities to connect with and enjoy video experiences. Likewise, delegates are more likely to engage with the content and provide comprehension and information processing for all people of all different learning styles.

Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 15.43.10.png
This is an image of two duplicate images side by side. It is of a kitten with its paws cupped looking upward. The kitten is short haired; brown and white striped patterned with blue eyes. In the first image the kitten is blurred. There is a white arrow pointing to the second image where the kitten is clearer.
Screenshot 2021-04-22 at 15.43.10.png
This is an image of two duplicate images side by side. It is of a hawk. The hawk is looking towards the camera and only one side of its face is visible. The hawk is brown with a grey face and neck. It has a yellow beak with a black tip, and orange eyes.  In the first image the hawk is blurred and in the second image it is clear.

8. Use clear audio on calls

Audio is engaging, it delivers information that is not the screen and sets the mood for the session. It also helps determine what participants see and evokes in a way that visual content alone can’t. Audio creates an immersive experience and doesn't eliminate the engagement from those who can't engage visually all the time or some of the time due to working from home considerations of specific needs.

That's it.

This article was originally written by AbilityNet for the Beyond programme in 2021. Contact AbilityNet if you want help with building inclusive practices.

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