Our goal is to provide universal access to all Kenyon programs, activities and events. The level of facility access on our historic campus is quite variable, so it is essential to consider facility access as well as publicity and media formats when planning events that will be universally accessible to all guests or community members.
Guide for accessible online meetings from Wcag2.com
Include an access statement in your promotional materials about who to contact regarding program accessibility.
Provide electronic copies of all print materials for individuals that use assistive technology. Tips for inclusive design are available on the SASS Inclusive Design and Digital Accessibility webpage.
Fliers, PDFs, JPEGs and other images that are inserted into emails are not accessible to people using assistive technologies, with low bandwidth, or dial up internet. Please provide the text describing the event within the email or use this work around to add alternate text. More about accessible Gmail.
Accommodation Requests from Participants
Regarding requests for accessible meeting space or venue, make sure the location is completely accessible for the participant by using the checklist below.
AV media or media clips need to be captioned for participants with hearing impairments.
Food allergies are considered a disability and you should be prepared to offer accommodations if you are serving food.
Assistance with auxiliary aids and services such as enlarged text formats, braille, assisted listening systems, sign language interpreter, remote captioning or handouts in an alternative format can be arranged by contacting Student Accessibility Support Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 740-427-5692.
Facility Access and Signage
Confirm adequate signage directing attendees to accessible entrances and restrooms.
Check to ensure that the entrance has smooth doorway threshold, railing, ramp, or on-grade access.
Confirm proximity of accessible parking spaces near the entrance or drop-off area.
Confirm route of travel to the building is properly signed, level and clear of obstructions.
Confirm that accessible restroom(s) are available.
If the location for your event or program has multiple floors, confirm an accessible elevator.
If there is a stage or platform, confirm it is accessible for speakers and presenters in a wheelchair.
Check to ensure that participants can navigate easily in the space. There should be 36" clear space between rows of chairs and removable seating areas for persons who are in a wheelchair.
Sample Access Statements for Promotional Materials
If disability accommodations (e.g., communication access, alternate formats, food allergies) are needed to participate fully in this event, please contact [name] at [phone number and email address].
Contact [name, email] for information about disability access.
Kenyon welcomes participants with disabilities. Please contact [name] at [phone number and email address] to discuss disability accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.
When meetings and events are held remotely, digital accessibility is important to ensure that all attendees, including people with disabilities, are able to participate and engage with content at the same time, with the same ease of use. Similarly, digital inclusivity is also an important consideration to ensure participation and engagement for all persons.
Best Practices for Inclusivity
Names and Pronouns
Most virtual meeting platforms, including Zoom and Google Meet, have the capability for people to add their pronouns along with their name. Ahead of your meeting and/or at the start of your meeting, invite attendees to share their pronouns along with their name. As a reminder, the best practice is to invite, rather than to require, people to share their pronouns, as some attendees may not want to share their pronouns with those in the virtual meeting space.
While adding pronouns to names is relatively straightforward and common practice for Zoom, Google Meet requires a few additional steps, and information about that process is available here.
Giving a description of yourself for the benefit of the blind or visually impaired people- when meeting a group of people for the first time; when speaking is good practice, and part of your professional responsibilities. View a self-description for inclusive meetings from VocalEyes.
Live Video Streams
While many organizers hope that the virtual meeting space can be the same as an in-person meeting, there are additional considerations related to video streaming. More specifically, the best practice is to allow participants to decide whether or not to share their video stream, whenever possible.
For people who are transitioning, seeing oneself on the screen may create additional challenges related to gender dysphoria, and similarly, individuals, regardless of their gender identity, may have other reasons for wanting to keep their video off. Such reasons include but are not limited to: wanting to keep information about their physical surroundings private, proactively reducing mental health challenges related to the perception of one’s appearance and/or body size, and more.
With that consideration in mind, the best practice is to invite, rather than to require, people to share their video stream, while reminding people that they may opt out.
Regarding recording meetings, additional considerations may come into play, particularly depending upon the content of the meeting. In addition to concerns related to the content of the meeting itself, organizers should ask for permission to record the session in advance, whenever possible.
If advance notice is not requested or stated, the best practice is to not record the meeting. Asking people for permission to record, when they are already in the virtual meeting space, may create unintentional pressure to consent.
Sample Registration Options
Offer participants the following meeting registration/feedback options:
Personalized registration includes the option for people to add their pronouns along with their name. Ahead of and/or at the start of the meeting, participants can opt to add pronouns to names. While this is relatively straightforward and common practice for Zoom, Google Meet requires a few additional steps, and information about that process is available here.
Please also indicate if you will need additional access services such as an ASL Interpreter or Communication Access in Real Time (CART services)
General Feedback Form Following Event
Presenters note: currently only Zoom can accommodate an ASL interpreter.
Accessible Presentation Techniques
Ensure your presentation is accessible to as many participants as possible by following these simple presentation techniques:
Always describe images and other visual content that’s displayed.
Describe visual content, including whiteboard information. This ensures everyone, including participants calling in and individuals with a vision or cognitive disability, have access.
If you want participants to be able to follow along when demonstrating, describe what you are doing and/or state what you are selecting. Share files and resource links.
Send any resource links you post in Chat via email as well since URLs and files are not easily accessed by screen reader users. Additionally, if you provide a recording of your session, viewers are unable to access the links/resources posted in chat.
Participants can use non-verbal feedback, such as raising their hand and un-muting when called upon in addition to the chat feature. Consider repeating questions/comments from chat to ensure access since chat isn't fully accessible to screen reader users, plus, you will improve the captioning quality of any recorded sessions.
Captions and Transcripts
Captions and transcripts benefit everyone. People who are unable to hear the audio, are English learners, are in noisy locations, have slow internet connection, want to know the spelling of words or need to find content quickly and all benefit from captions. In most instances, Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) captions are accurate up to 90%, however, only CART meets the ADA (American Disability Act) requirements of 99% accuracy.
Asynchronous or synchronous video captions include and benefit everyone.
"Video captions, also known as same-language subtitles, benefit everyone who watches videos (children, adolescents, college students, and adults). More than 100 empirical studies document that captioning a video improves comprehension of, attention to, and memory for the video. This applies to audio captioning as well. Captions are particularly beneficial for persons watching videos in their non-native language, for children and adults learning to read, and for persons who are D/deaf or hard of hearing.“ from Video Captions Benefit Everyone, Morton Ann Gernsbacher.
Meeting Platform Accessibility
To conserve bandwidth for the host and all participants, consider turning off audio and video unless you are sharing. Platform servers are sending an audio and video stream - even if it consists of no useful audio or video. Similarly, while everyone else's microphone and video are on, you're downloading their audio and video to you. If only the person speaking has their microphone and video on and everyone else is muted with video off, only the minimum amount of audio and video data will be sent. Communication is often improved by seeing facial cues so turning video on when you are sharing can be helpful to participants.
Install Tactiq Chrome Extension (free). Join the Google Meet page. Switch on live captions by selecting the “CC” button at the bottom of the page. The transcript will appear in a popup window. When the meeting is over click in the extension window to save the transcript to the Google Doc.
Live Transcriptions for Individual Use
Install Google Live Transcribe from the Google Play Store. Turn on feature to save history (can only save for three days). Select text and copy and paste into your own document.
Only the host can enable recording and give a participant recording privileges, and only individuals with a Business, Education or Enterprise license with cloud recording privileges can obtain the audio transcript.
Third Party software like Verbit or Otter.AI can provide captions or live transcripts.
Turn Off HD Video
Improve user experience especially for those with bandwidth limitations, restricted data usage or unreliable internet access. Uncheck the enable HD in Zoom video settings.
Enable “Always Show Meeting Controls Toolbar”
Share instructions with your participants on how to always show meeting controls. By selecting the “Always Show Meeting Controls Toolbar” checkbox, the controls at the bottom of the zoom screen will remain up and not "disappear."
Within Zoom Client
Select the "Home" tab. Select the Settings “Gear” icon. A settings pop-up window will open. Select the “View Advanced Features” (Windows) or “View More Settings” link (Mac) under General settings. The Zoom website will open. Login if you are prompted with the login screen. The Meeting Settings page will open. Navigate to the In Meeting (Basics) section of the Meeting Settings page. “Mute Participants Upon Entry”
This will ensure less disruptions at the start of a meeting or class, and is located under Meeting Options when scheduling a session.
Communicate Keyboard Shortcuts
Send Zoom Keyboard Shortcuts to your participants ahead of time. These instructions are valuable for anyone using keyboard only navigation or assistive technology.
The polling feature is accessible to assistive technology users. Make sure to alert your participants when launching a poll, read the questions and answers being asked. Allow ample time for participants to answer. If you share results, make sure you read the results to the participants. If you have participants joining by phone, offer an alternative way for them to send in feedback as polling is not usable only by phone.
ASL Sign Language Interpreter
If you have a request for an ASL sign language interpreter for your Zoom session, view information on working with an interpreter in Zoom.
Occasionally, due to local outages, students or employees may not be able to access a live Zoom session. Currently, there are several countries or regions where international students are unable to access live Zoom sessions for regulatory reasons. In addition, other unexpected distractions may come up that cause your meeting or class participant to miss portions of your class. Recording to the cloud can create an auto-generated transcript.