Institute for Credentialing Excellence Accessibility Resources
What are some common accommodations you should be prepared to provide and include in all of your productions, programs, and services?
- Sign Language Interpreters (live or remote)
- Captions (accurate captions are required for education, medical, and legal content)
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) captions have limited ability to offer correct captioning when unique vocabulary and content is delivered.
- AI captions are not adept at covering accents.
- Audio description for any visual information presented in video or live presentations
- Alternative Text or Text Equivalents for not text content
- Braille or Large Text
- Reader/Recorder for non-accessible digital courses or for people with specific physical disabilities
- Note takers
Reviewing your virtual meeting, LMS, Course Training, and Exam Delivery platforms
- Are your platforms accessible to people using assistive technologies?
- Look for the term accessibility on the platform's website search tool
- Look for an accessibility statement on the platform's website
- Ask for the accessibility statement from your vendors
- Ask for a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) or Accessibility Compliance Report (ACR)
- Does your platform allow attendees to pin a screen/window for American Sign Language (ASL)/International Sign Language (ISL) or the language specific sign language your attendees request?
- Does your platform provide automated or artificial intelligence produced closed captions?
- Does your live caption team provide an alternate streaming caption URL
- Do you have a live caption vendor?
- Do you have a way to ensure people using AAC (augmentative and alternative communications) can ask questions via chat/Q&A
- Are the polling tools built in your platform accessible to people using assistive technology?
- Are the chat windows/tools in your platform accessible to people using assistive technology?
Deaf/Hard-of-hearing, Reading disability, Dyslexia, Auditory Processing Disorders, and those who do not speak the language of your presentation as their primary language
- Provide captions for all of your virtual meetings/events
- Provide ASL/ISL/BSL interpreters if requested for your virtual meetings/events
- Caption all pre-recorded or on-demand videos
- This includes anything presenters will show in the event as part of a multi-media presentation.
- Provide Transcripts for Podcasts
Written communications and assistive technology for people who are blind, low-vision, and deaf-blind
- Provide alternative text equivalents (alt-text) for images in email, documents, websites, and social media
- Social media campaign videos should be captioned
- Videos should never auto-play
- Make sure your email communications are accessible
- Use of terms like click here or learn more for links do not indicate where you're asking someone to go or what the link is for.
Exam or Course Discovery, Registration, and Scheduling
- Make sure your registration process/website/sign-up is accessible
- Check to see if your identification verification process requires sight (is your image clear and can you read the identification)?
- Try using only your keyboard (tab, shift, alt, windows, space, and arrow keys with enter to "select") to navigate your site and applications' forms and fields.
- If you are unable to get out of menus or see a highlighted box and form label around every field to enter content, your attendees using assistive technologies won't know what to do or what they have missed.
- Check out the "back end" by using WebAIM WAVE, also available as an extension to "turn on" when visiting any page or app.
- This will alert you to about 40% of the errors or alerts on any web page, your mileage may vary. Manual testing and review should supplement any automated testing.
- Make sure you have an accommodations request portion of our registration form.
- Include sign-language interpreters (ASL, BSL, ISL, etc)
- This means you will need to have sourced an interpreter service
- Remember that interpreters only sign for 45 minutes at a time and then hand off to another interpreter
- Interpreters may ask about your attendee's Deafness (from birth, recent loss, partial)
- If you indicate captions will be provided indicate if they are live captions (CART) or automated captions and if they are closed captions or streaming in a third party application.
- If your material is legal or educational in nature, you should hire a live captioning team.
- Live captioning teams will need to have the names and content made available to them in advance to best relay the spoken words as captions.
- Providing this detail helps with names, terms, and context of information to provide quality captions
Presenters/Speakers in Courses/Programs
- Provide guidance to presenters about color contrast, alt-text, and font sizes, and accessible presentation materials.
- State names first when speaking to identify speakers for captions and audience
- Ensure your moderators and Q&A curators provide equal time to attendees to "get to the floor" to ask questions whether they use voice, text, or Alternative and Augmented Communications (AAC)
- Ensure that your presenters describe any information presented visually. This is great training for everyone and can help distill what we put on slides as a communications tool
- Discourage the default of saying things like, "well you can see…"
- Putting too much content on a slide reduces the font and will be a challenge to read. Don't put too much on one slide.
- Describe graphs and tables so that if the screen is not magnified or someone is using assistive technology the attendee can understand the context of the data.
- If data is presented as tables in a presentation, is it an image or the actual table?
- Be prepared to provide alternative text (tagged PDF, large text, or braille) of any slides or documents shown in virtual events.
- This means your presenters will have to provide their materials in advance so you can have them remediated.
- This means you need to identify a team internally or a vendor to help you produce alternative media. You will need to plan accordingly to ensure these alternative media resources are available for your attendees prior to your event.
- While virtual meeting platforms themselves may be accessible, anyone using assistive technologies may not be able to see/read the content. Attendees' assistive technology cannot reach through your delivery platform to access your materials. See above about providing alternative media in advance of your event.
- Use built in organization and templates in document/office suites
- Use headers to create table of contents in a document to automatically provides navigation for assistive technology
- Use slide masters in slide decks, to automatically provides read-order and navigation for assistive technology
- Use Built-In Accessibility Checkers in Office Suites (documents, slides, spreadsheets)
- Learn how Screen Readers work
- You can try a free screen reader like NVDA or one built into your computer operating system or smart device.
Guides to learn more about accessible meetings, captions, and podcasts
- Make your virtual meetings and events more accessible https://mn.gov/mnit/media/blog/#/detail/appId/1/id/423822 and https://www.ada25chicago.org/resources/tags/web-virtual/
- A guide to captioning videos from a Deaf communications professional, Complete Guide to Captioned Videos by Meryl Evans
- Overview of accessible virtual meeting platforms from Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT)
More about accessibility:
- ADA Basics webcourse
- Accessibility baked right in analogy: One of the pre-eminent US legal accessibility advocate Lainey Feingold recently crafted a collection called Accessibility is Delicious that carries through the recipes/ingredients concept.
- A free (if you audit only) course: Introduction to Web Accessibility by W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative
- Microsoft's Accessibility Fundamentals Course (and digital trophy badge)
CEO level insights:
- Frances West Her book is Authentic Inclusion – Lessons on Innovation and Diversity Authentic Inclusion: What it is and why it matters – TedX Talk
- Forbes: Ex-Congressman Tony Coelho Opens Up About Being Disabled And Where The Americans With Disabilities Act Fails In A Digital, Pandemic-Ruled Age
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