The following suggestions are provided for meeting hosts and attendees to help everyone create a more equitable experience for all meeting attendees. These guidelines are based on the reality that not everyone participates in a Zoom meeting in the same way. Some are reading captions, some are using assistive technology, some my be connecting by computer, some are dialing in by phone.
For Meeting Hosts or Facilitators
Preparing for the Meeting
- Remember that screen sharing will be inaccessible to blind participants and those joining only by phone so send materials in advance when you send the information on how to join the meeting.
- Make sure the materials you send in advance are accessible.
- Provide captioning either proactively or as an accommodation.
- Make sure to provide a way for people to request accommodations such as interpreters.
- Include links to information about how to join a Zoom meeting and accessibility information about Zoom in your invitation.
- Consider appointing a co-host who can assist participants with technical difficulties, monitor the chat and raised hands, and mind other trouble shooting. This is also a good practice in case the host gets bumped from the meeting, the other attendees will not be bumped off.
Facilitating the Meeting
- Make sure captioning is working if provided.
- If interpreters are present, make sure they have access and the person using the interpreters can see them adequately.
- Share guidance with participants before the meeting begins regarding protocols for interacting.
- If questions are asked and people provide visual responses, such as head nods or raising their hands, provide a description of what you see.
- Example: About half of the participants are shaking their head in agreement.
- Monitor the chat and read the comments and questions aloud.
For All Meeting Participants
Preparing for the Meeting
- Select “Participant” and make sure your actual name is showing up. If not, you can rename yourself with your first and last name.
- Mouse users: hover over name and choose the “More” dropdown menu, then select Rename and type in your full name
- Keyboard users: This does not seek to be accessible by keyboard alone. You may have to change your name in your profile by logging into zoom.us. A meeting host is also able to rename a participant so you can ask the host to change it if needed.
- If your meeting is being captioned, you can turn on captions using the button on the tool bar at the bottom of your screen.
- Familiarize yourself with the chat tool, the raise hand feature, and other features.
- If you have a headset with a mic, that can make your voice more audible and cut down on background noise.
Interacting During the Meeting
For Larger Meetings
- Keep your mic muted when you are not speaking.
- Use the chat feature sparingly. By default, screen readers read aloud the comments in chat and this can be distracting, keeping screen reader users from hearing the conversation effectively. You can also direct comments to specific people including the host of the meeting.
- Using the “raise hand” feature and waiting to be called upon will allow for smoother turn-taking and keep people from speaking over each other.
- Keyboard users: Option + Y on Mac or Alt + Y on Windows
- Mouse users: Select “Participants”, choose “raise hand” at bottom of panel.
- When you are called upon, unmute your mic. .
- Mouse users: Unmute mic by selecting button with mic icon on tool bar
- Keyboard users: Command + Shift + A on Mac or Alt + A on Windows
- Introduce yourself the first time you speak. An introduction could also include a visual description of yourself and your pronouns.
- Example: I’m Jane Doe from Anytown University. I use she/her pronouns. I am a white woman with brown hair sitting in my living room with a painting of a mountain behind me.
- State your name again each time you speak. This will assist everyone, including the captioner (if there is one).
- Take care not to speak over each other. This will allow the captioner (if there is one) to be able to follow the conversation accurately.
For Smaller Meetings
- It may be less necessary to have rigid turn-taking protocols in smaller meeting.
- Remember to express agreement or disagreement verbally rather than just nodding or shaking your head.