As a result of the events of recent years, Zoom has become one of the most popular ways of communicating with colleagues. Here are some helpful tips to ensure your next Zoom meeting or webinar is accessible to all, including participants with disabilities.
- Provide Live Closed Captioning. Zoom allows a host to designate an attendee to add closed captioning. Zoom also has made automated live captioning available. The session host will need to enable closed captioning in their Zoom account.
- For live, human captioning, see integrating a third-party closed captioning service.
- For automated captioning, follow this guide to set up automated live captioning in Zoom.
- Spotlight presenter and ASL Interpreters. If you are providing a webinar or a presentation, remember to setup Zoom’s “Spotlight Video” feature so attendees can always see the presenter and ASL Interpreters. This feature allows attendees to watch the presenters’ body language and facial expressions and can assist with comprehension.
- Share information about Keyboard Shortcuts. Not everyone uses a mouse to navigate their computers. Hotkeys and keyboard shortcuts provide an alternative. When sending out your Zoom meeting invitation, include this link to Zoom’s Hot Keys and Keyboard Shortcuts.
- Describe Visuals. Remember attendees with vision impairments. Describe any graphics on screen that convey information during your presentation and encourage your guest presenters to do the same. For attendees using JAWS, share this Freedom Scientific blog post, Using the Zoom Video Conferencing Platform with JAWS.
- Share Materials Ahead of Time. Sharing materials before the meeting, particularly those with links, ahead of the meeting in an accessible format (PowerPoint, Word, PDF, etc.) will ensure that folks using assistive technology can participate.
- Provide Quality Audio and Video.
- Use a high-quality external microphone, not the computer’s built-in microphone, for the best quality and clarity.
- Keep individuals muted and reduce background noise.
- Be sure to conduct all presentations from a well-lit (not back-lit) area. Video quality is also dependent on the bandwidth of your internet service (and that of your participants), and your webcam’s resolution.
- Use Breakout Rooms Carefully. Ensure captioner follows individuals who need captioning into their breakout room. Breakout rooms do not currently support automated live captioning, and only one human captioner is able to be assigned to a meeting.
- Practice. If you are hosting, get comfortable with the software and hold a practice webinar with a few remote participants. Troubleshoot any issues before you go live.
- Zoom Accessibility Settings webpage
- Accessibility Tips for a Better Zoom/Virtual Meeting Experience from the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center.
- The Zoom Accessibility Group. To join, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email the group at email@example.com. All emails must be relevant to Zoom.
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