Plan and host an accessible virtual event

Information on how to create an accessible and inclusive virtual event.

UW-Madison is committed to ensuring that its services, facilities, workspace, and programs are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. In light of the transition to more remote and/or virtual learning and working, including classes, seminars, workshops, meetings, and events for students, staff, faculty and members of the broader UW-Madison community, it is important to make these activities as accessible and inclusive as possible.


On this page


Important considerations

  • Lead time:  Start planning your event as early as possible. We recommend at least 4-6 weeks lead time to produce, edit, announce, host, and secure accommodations for your virtual event.

  • Budget: Factor the costs of captioning, sign language interpretation, and other potential accommodations into your budget. Note that the cost of making an event accessible at the last minute can be considerably greater.

  • Accommodations:  Students requiring academic accommodations for courses should contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center. The Employee Disability Resources Office provides support to faculty and staff via Divisional Disability Representatives (DDRs) who coordinate disability-related accommodations for units within the university. The ADA Coordinator can assist with requests for accommodations from the public. Privacy:  When a person with a disability requests an accommodation and/or discloses having a disability, these discussions should occur in private. Information about a disability or an accommodation should only be shared with those who have a need to know in order to support the person.

 


Planning an event

To ensure an inclusive event, plan for accessibility regardless of whether or not an accommodation request is made.

What type of event are you planning?

  • Live, virtual event with no participant interaction
  • Live, virtual event with participant interaction
  • Pre-recorded event
  • A mix of the above

Accessibility and technology considerations by event type:

 Event Type

 Accessibility Considerations

 Technology Considerations

Live, virtual event with no participant interaction
  • Real-time captioning
  • Sign language interpreting
  • Presenter style (see ‘During the event’ below)
  • Accessible presentation content
  • Avoid using virtual backgrounds
  • Web conferencing platform (YouTube Live, WebEx, Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra) 
  • Media player (YouTube Live)
Live, virtual event with participation interaction
  • Real-time captioning
  • Sign language interpreting
  • Presenter style (see ‘During the event’ below)
  • Accessible presentation content
  • Accessible Q&A and chat  
  • Avoid using virtual backgrounds
  • Web conferencing platform (YouTube Live, WebEx, Zoom, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra) 
  • Media player (YouTube Live)
  • Interactive platforms (Q&A, chat, polls)
Pre-recorded or recorded event
  • Captioning or closed captioning
  • Sign language interpreting
  • Audio descriptions
  • Access to accessible presentation content
  • Media player (YouTube, Vimeo, Kaltura, etc.)
  • Interactive transcript

 

Accessibility and usability barriers for web conferencing tools:

Zoom and YouTube accessibility and usability information coming soon.


Dig deeper into technology options



Promoting an event

  • Ensure that any notifications and their attachments regarding your course, event, and/or meeting:

    • Includes a statement on how to request disability-related accommodations such as:

      •  (INSERT UW-Madison/College/School/Department/Program) is committed to creating an inclusive and accessible event. To request an accommodation for this event, please contact (INSERT name, event host/coordinator) at (INSERT phone number/email) as soon as possible.”

    • Announces the event as early as possible to give participants time to request an accommodation

    • Are in an accessible format

  • Ensure all pertinent information (date, time, location, etc.) is included in the body of the email and not only in the attachments. 

  • If there are images included, provide description of the images.

  • Note that not all social media platforms are accessible. Provide a link to your event webpage, where you have control over the accessibility of the page and content.




Hosting an event

Just prior to the event

  • Share technologies that will be used so that attendees can review for accessibility

  • Email and post program materials/documents in advance:

    • Electronically – Post to Box or Google drive and generate a go.wisc.edu shortened URL to provide to attendees

    • Have original source files available (Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc) if sending documents in PDF

  • Include the following statement on printed event materials:

    • “These materials are available in alternative formats upon request by contacting (INSERT name, host department) at (INSERT phone number/email).“

  • Plan for discussion and interaction to ensure accessibility and full participation:

    • Assign a moderator to call on speakers and manage meeting participation

    • Assign a different person (not the moderator) to monitor chat: 

      • Triage and read aloud chat messages

      • Type URLs or resources mentioned into chat (or follow-up after the event to find those resources).

    • For essential activities, such as polls or quizzes, offer alternatives for those who encounter technical challenges or accessibility barriers.

During the event

  • Ask participants to identify who they are by name before speaking (critical particularly for individuals who are blind, have low vision, or join by phone without video)

  • Ask participants to speak clearly and slowly

  • Participants should mute their microphones when not speaking

  • Participants joining by phone should avoid using speakerphone to minimize background noise

  • Consider recording event and chat messages for playback

  • If using screen sharing to show documents or presentations, ensure participants have the materials available offline as well 

  • Avoid using virtual backgrounds as the effects are visually less accessible and can increased CPU workload for the user running the background, which can cause disruptions.


After the event

  • Follow-up with an email or webpage with recordings

  • Share transcript of chat messages

  • Email all materials used in the presentation, even if you sent them in advance



How to arrange:

Real-time captioning for a live event

Note: Please do not rely on a technology platform’s auto-caption feature–it will not be fully accurate and is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Captioning for a pre-recorded event

Note: Please do not rely on a technology platform’s auto-caption feature–it will not be fully accurate and is not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Audio descriptions for a recorded event

Sign language interpreter



Additional resources



Contacts

ADA Coordinator – ada_coordinator@wisc.edu or (608) 265-6018


Campus resources:







Keywords:accessibility, online, event, seminar, workshop, meeting, class, virtual, zoom, webex, teams   Doc ID:104369
Owner:Adam Hills-Meyer H.Group:Accessibility & Usability
Created:2020-07-27 08:51 CDTUpdated:2020-09-30 16:52 CDT
Sites:Accessibility & Usability
Feedback:  2   0