In April 2023, Accessibility in IT introduced its new Lunch-n-Learn series with a pilot event “Accessibility in IT: Small Changes, Big Results.” This event explored built-in accessibility features and tools readily available in common productivity/collaboration tools — such as Microsoft Word, Zoom, Scribe, etc. — and shared immediate, tactical actions people can take to make their products, projects, environment, and overall work functions more accessible.
Guest speakers for this session represented offices from around Stanford that provide accessibility-related support and services:
- Robin Cole, alternate format and assistive technology manager, Office of Accessible Education
- Auston Stamm, digital accessibility instructional specialist, Office of Digital Accessibility
- Joey Elisa Koss, digital accessibility consulting engineer, Office of Digital Accessibility
- Teggin Summers, assistant dean and director of educational technology, Technology and Digital Solutions
- Helena Findikaki, senior manager technology & digital solutions
Below are some of the tips, tools, and resources shared to create more inclusive and accessible spaces. To view the full presentation, check out the event recording, audio transcript, and table of all tips and tools shared during the event.
Maximizing Accessibility Tools in Productivity/Collaboration Tools
Programmatic Headings: Rather than bolding/enlarging text to convey the start of a new section, use programmatic headings to make it easier for those using screen reading software.
Accessible Links: Calls to action/hyperlinks should include context about where the “click” will take the user. Avoid language like “click here,” “read more,” or simply pasting a full URL. Create a two to five word summary that describes the landing page.
Zoom Accessibility Functions: When hosting a Zoom meeting, make sure to enable live captions, inform participants on how to access live captions and the transcript, make sure to edit the captions afterwards so they’re accurate, and include a “request accommodations” option, such as CART or ASL.
Accessible Actions You Can Take in Presentations, Meetings and More
Making a Presentation:
- Be inclusive with your introductions by describing your physical appearance and any identities you may bring.
- Include automatic captioning and leave the bottom 25 percent of slides blank to give space for captions.
- Take time during the presentation to verbally describe the images on the screen.
Hosting a Meeting → Technology Considerations:
- Recording virtual meetings can be helpful, particularly for hearing or visually impaired and other disabled persons.
- Send agendas and any relevant documents out before the meeting and in the chat during the meeting, using accessible formats.
- Create a hyperlearning environment set-up in the room that follows in-room speakers/facilitators.
Hosting a Meeting → Building Inclusive Community:
- Focus on the virtual audience first and the in person audience second.
- If offering a meal during the in-person portion of the meeting, send a gift card at least 24 hours before the meeting to members joining in virtually.
- Before a meeting begins, designate a facilitator to monitor the virtual meeting space for raised hands, chat engagement, and proactively call on virtual participants.
Learn more and get involved
Accessibility in IT is a growing program. If you would like to get involved, please reach out to the Accessibility in IT working group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
View resources from the Accessibility in IT Lunch-n-Learn Event here: