When you are planning a virtual webinar or event of some kind, make sure that you consider accessibility. Consult our guidance on accessible events for in-person events.

Guidance for Presenters

Before the Presentation

  • Share a link to your presentation materials in advance.
    • If possible, share your materials with participants prior to the start of the presentation to allow time to access them.
    • Another good practice is to share the link (verbally and in the chat) at the beginning of your presentation.
    • If you will be asking questions of your participants, it is helpful to include them in the presentation materials so that participants have time to reflect before the presentation if they prefer.
  • Practice describing the meaningful visual elements in your presentation materials.
    • Describe all graphs, text, important images, and more. This allows audience members who can’t see your presentation to still access all of the information.
  • Use high-contrast color combinations.
    • Use a color contrast checker
    • Aim to pass at least the WCAG AA Normal Text level of color contrast. (WCAG AA is a digital accessibility standard that CU Boulder uses.)
  • Ensure that you will be in a quiet location with the best mic you can use.
    • Audio quality is extremely important for audiences to access your content.
    • Background noise can be challenging for captioners and interpreters, can make it hard or impossible for people who are hard of hearing to listen to your presentation, and can be distracting for other participants.
  • Review the guidance for creating accessible PowerPoint presentations.
    • PowerPoint is generally preferred to Google Slides for accessibility purposes.

During the Presentation

  • Verbally introduce yourself when you start to speak.
    • Encourage participants who speak to do the same.
  • Read aloud any important information or questions typed into the meeting chat.
    • Make sure to read out the chat before replying to it verbally.
    • If substantive conversations happen in the chat window, you or the meeting organizer can save the chat and share it with participants after the event. 
  • Give users enough time and multiple ways to respond to polls.
    • Provide at least a minute for poll responses.
    • Remember that users calling in from phones will not be able to participate directly in polls, so provide another way for them to respond.

Guidance for Meeting Hosts

Before the Presentation

  • Encourage attendees to contact you to request any accommodations ahead of the presentation.
    • Provide an opportunity to request accommodations in promotional and registration materials.
    • Describe the format of the session (Will there be a visual presentation? How many speakers? Will there be any breaks?) to help attendees assess whether they may need to request an accommodation.
    • It is helpful to require registration for your event, so that you can make sure to ask all attendees about their accommodation needs.
    • Examples of how to ask about accommodation needs:
      • "Do you have a disability and require an accommodation to be able to access this event? If yes, please describe. Please note that accommodation requests received less than 5 business days before the event may not be able to be fulfilled."
      • "If you have a disability and require assistance, please inform (planner) by describing your requirements in this form, or contact (planner) at (email and phone number). Two weeks advance notice of need for accommodations is requested."
  • If you are hosting a public event without registration, provide human-created live captioning.
    • Contact the ADA office for support with scheduling the captioning provider.
  • Know how to request and set up live captioning and ASL accommodations within Zoom in case they are requested.
  • Make sure all promotional materials are accessible. Consult our resources on creating:

During the Presentation

  • Enable live captioning.
    • If you have a human captioner, make sure they are set up properly to provide captions.
    • If you are using the Zoom automated captions, make sure to turn them on at the start of the meeting.
  • At the beginning of the presentation give the audience an overview of what to expect and how to participate.
    • State if the presentation is being recorded, if there is a preferred method of audience participation, who they can contact with tech or access needs.
    • This is a good time to also explain how to use the platform’s features to participate and interact.
    • Provide an agenda that you will be following for the event.
  • Ensure all participants not speaking are muted. 

After the Presentation

  • If you chose to record to Zoom Cloud, automated captions will be created in Zoom Cloud for the recording.
    • These captions will be available only as part of the recording (they are not provided live) and should be corrected for accuracy. 
  • Share any links or comments from the chat with attendees.
  • Share the session recording with attendees if you chose to record.