Not all your meetings and events need to be delivered face-to-face. With flexible working it is entirely possible to telecommute and even deliver presentations online. With online meetings and events come additional considerations:
- Ensure that the video conferencing or webinar software you are using is as accessible as possible. The software should comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 at AA level at minimum. For more information on WCAG 2.1, see WCAG 2.1 at a Glance and How to meet WCAG 2.1: A customizable quick reference.
- Make sure users are aware of the accessibility features of the software you are using. For example, Microsoft Teams allows users to activate live captioning.
- Where possible, select software that does not require any downloads to function. Software that requires the attendees download a plug-in to access creates unnecessary roadblocks. Some people with disability may not be able to download and install plug-ins, and most work computers do not allow users to install software.
- Be sure to test any software before the event. User testing will allow you to check whether your intended audience can access and use the software.
- Provide an alternative means of access for attendees who cannot access or use the software. For example, allow attendees to dial in by phone.
- You should identify protocols for speaking at the beginning of your meeting/event. For example, ensuring that people identify who they are each time they say something and asking that not everyone talk at once.
- Ensure that participants speak slowly and clearly. This will aid in understanding and ensure that the live captioning is as accurate as possible.
People working from home may not have a reliable or fast internet connection. There are some steps everyone can take to ensure that an online meeting or presentation is as successful for everyone regardless of their connection quality:
- Request that participants turn off their VPNs if possible. Deactivating a VPN can significantly improve connection quality.
- Ensure that participants disable their cameras and microphones until they need to speak. This will help reduce the strain on people with poor connections.
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