This article describes settings and best practices to maximize the accessibility of your virtual meetings, including Zoom. Zoom currently provides a broader array of accessibility options than Microsoft Teams, and is recommended for virtual meetings. Where available in Microsoft Teams, use the same settings and best practices.
Automated captions are now enabled by default for all UO Zoom accounts, but it may be helpful to share instructions so that people can easily view them.
Many people can benefit from having a full transcript of the meeting (a record of all of the closed captions in one place). Unless privacy reasons dictate otherwise, this is always an appropriate option to have enabled. Log in to the UO Zoom web portal, go to the Settings tab, and the Meeting sub-section, and turn on the "Full transcript" and "Save captions" options. In addition, go to the Settings tab, and the Recording sub-section. Ensure that "Viewers can see the transcript" and "Create audio transcript" are both turned on.
Enable "Mute Participants Upon Entry"
This feature defaults all meeting participants to being muted on joining the room. Participants need to manually unmute themselves to begin speaking. This is especially helpful in large meetings or virtual classrooms by cutting down on disruptions and background noise at the start of a session. Log in to the UO Zoom web portal, go to the Settings tab, and the Meeting sub-section, and turn on the "Mute all participants when they join a meeting" option.
Describe media and other visual elements in your presentation
Depending on visuals via screen sharing (for example, a PowerPoint presentation) excludes people who are blind and many people who have low vision. Visual information should be read or described out loud to ensure that everyone is able to understand the content.
Answer questions and provide feedback in one place
Some audience members may have difficulty following a presentation and reading the text chat at the same time, and frequent chat messages or full chat conversations occurring at the same time as people are talking or presenting can make it difficult for many people with disabilities, including people using screen readers and people with ADHD. If you allow for or solicit feedback and questions from your audience, be clear how they should respond to you. Either chat or audio is acceptable, but try to avoid a mix of the two.
If questions are posed in chat, read out the questions in their entirety before answering, instead of simply referring to the person who asked the question. When important links or information are put in the chat, announce it for people who are not actively monitoring the chat or who may not otherwise notice.
Send keyboard shortcuts before meeting begins
Zoom provides keyboard shortcuts for controlling the meeting. Send the Zoom keyboard shortcut details to your audience ahead of time.
Send links and other referenced material before meeting begins
Some people are unable to access links in the meeting chat. If you intend to share links to websites or other resources during your meeting, share these as a separate document ahead of time.