How to make virtual meetings more accessible

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mug next to a laptop with a virtual meeting onscreen and the faces of its participants

For many, virtual meetings are a prominent part of the workweek. Whether it is the daily huddle, weekly report out, team meetings, or customer-focused presentations, you can take your meeting game up a notch without having to know peoples’ disabilities.

If you are the host or simply a participant, incorporating the best practices below will increase your virtual accessibility for meetings, training, presentations and content. 

For slide decks & multimedia, ensure that:

  • All images, graphics and tables have descriptions (alternative-text or alt-text) for screen readers.
  • All videos have accurate captions.
  • All audio-only content has a full transcript.
  • Tables are properly formatted so they are easily read by screen readers.
  • Page and section headings are used to organize content and make it easy to navigate.
  • Text and graphics are meaningful when viewed without color.
  • Descriptive hyperlink phrases (describes the attachment/link in five words or less) are used instead of the URL alone or the phrase “click here.” For example, “Notes from Meeting” is a helpful hyperlink phrase.
  • All documents and presentations have been reviewed with an accessibility checker.

Presentation tips

  • Be sure to test audio and video settings before the meeting.
  • Share materials prior to the meeting in an agenda, email or chat message.
  • Speak clearly, slow down, describe presentation content aloud and repeat important information.
  • Have people identify themselves before they speak.
  • When responding verbally to questions in the chat, read the question aloud first for folks who cannot see or do not have the chat box open.
  • Allow people options for how to ask questions—through chat, the microphone, etc.