PTA Inclusion. Now More Than Ever.
For electronic meetings and events, PTAs still must provide accommodations for individuals with disabilities, under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Washington’s Law Against Discrimination (WLAD). There is more information about both of those laws and how they impact local PTAs and councils in this blog post.
Below are twelve helpful tips for accommodating individuals with disabilities online:
- Learn about the accessibility features in the meeting tools you are using before you need to use them.
- Make sure your microphone has good sound.
- Reduce or eliminate background noise and mute people who are not speaking.
- Ask participants to speak slowly and wait for others to finish. Use icons like “raise hand” to facilitate speaking one at a time.
- Use auto-captioning on PowerPoint presentations or enable a closed-captioning feature on your meeting tool. Some tools allow for live captioning as well.
- Pin video with ASL interpretation.
- If there are individuals with visual impairment, ask people to state their names when they start speaking.
- When screen-sharing, verbalize what is on the screen and describe any actions you are taking.
- Provide accessible materials and online links ahead of time so that participants can utilize any assistive technology they may already be using.
- Record presentations when possible and make a transcript available. (Zoom offers auto-transcription for certain licenses). Be aware: Washington requires two-party permission for recording. Do not record any individual without their permission.
- Make all links and materials available through additional channels, not just chat.
- Limit the use of the Zoom polling feature or provide an alternative way to give feedback; this tool is not currently accessible for some individuals with disabilities.