Holding accessible and inclusive online events
When is it appropriate to hold an event online?
An online event may be appropriate for:
- information sessions
- training sessions.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, various online events were held, including music festivals and comedy shows. Holding an event online can have benefits, allowing participation by those who are restricted in their ability to attend a venue. People with disability may also benefit from live streaming of an event or by accessing recordings after the event.
What are the considerations for holding an event online for people with disability?
Take into account the general access and inclusion points outlined in the previous guidelines. Also consider:
- how easy it will be for people with visual or hearing disabilities to participate
- whether an interpreter can be added or invited to the event
- if live captioning is a possibility
- whether the event can be recorded and shared afterwards.
What are some of the most common platforms to use?
Two common online platforms for events and meetings are Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Some platforms require participants to download the program or app to their device and may require a participant to sign-up to the program. It is important to understand these and other possible limitations before deciding on a platform to use. It is also important to understand any limitations on use of a platform on different operating systems.
Zoom and Teams can support Auslan interpreters. Typically, the interpreter will be invited to the virtual event as a separate participant.
At a minimum, live captioning should be made available for Zoom and Microsoft Teams events. If possible, record the event and provide recordings afterwards as well. This may not be feasible for your organisation due to their security or privacy policies. Check with your IT department.