Our content should be available to everyone. Making content accessible means it can be used by people with disabilities and on many different devices. Being accessible creates a better experience for all users.

Accessibility considerations when designing your session

For your session, you will need to consider;

  1. Accessibility of any documents to be used / shared in the meeting.
  2. The accessibility of any powerpoints - if using powerpoint in MS 365 it has an inbuilt subtitle function which when turned on will make them automatically to a fairly good accuracy (please see more details below).
  3. If not using subtitles you will need to consider how you are presenting i.e. can people see your mouth if they are lip reading.
  4. Recording of the meeting for future reference.
  5. Making images and graphics “visible” to all users is one of the first principles of accessibility. The way you make your image visible to everyone is by adding "alternative text" or "alt-text". Adding alt-text to an image allows it to be discoverable and understood by users in a variety of ways. Alt-text should convey the purpose of an image. Some useful resources to help you produce alt-text include this Accessibility Toolkit for Open Educational Resources (OER): Alternative Text (alt-text) and this guide to Writing good Alt Text to describe images

Using the Subtitles function in PowerPoint - Office 365

In the "Slide Show" there is an option to add subtitles to a live presentation and decide where they show on the screen. All it needs is access to a microphone.

If using Office 365, the system can also learn key phrases by scanning text in the document so to make the text more accurate. Another benefit, is that if you are recording the presentation, the there are inbuilt subtitles for webinars and events. More information about this automated facility is available.

Additional general tips

  • If any written resources are being shared, make use of the ‘Styles’ section in Word (below) as this helps with people who use screen reading software e.g. it will tell the person if a word is a ‘heading’ or body text etc.
    Microsoft Word Styles
  • Share any written resources in advance so that people have time to process them. This supports anyone with dyslexia as well as those using screen readers due to visual impairments.
  • At the beginning of your session, ask participants about any adjustments they might need.
  • If sessions are interactive, consider offering people different ways to get involved – video might work best for some whereas chat would work better for others – so if both could be offered concurrently, that would be good. Allow time for all participants to respond – some may take a bit longer to respond and will feel frustrated if conversations are shut down before they can get involved. Using something that has a ‘raise hand’ function (such as Zoom) might help to ensure everyone gets a chance to be involved.

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