Online accessibility for LISA meetings
The following is the text of a message circulated by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee concerning best practices for accessibility in online meetings within the Consortium:
As you plan meetings for this year and next year, please make sure they are accessible to all Consortium members regardless of their travel funds, physical abilities, and child/elder care responsibilities. All but the smallest meetings should be online or hybrid. Meeting venues should also accommodate people with different physical abilities and provide online access as required by local, state, federal, or international laws. For information on how to have inclusive meetings please visit the LISA Consortium DEI Committee wiki page (login with consortium credentials).
Other best practices:
- Provide slides, agendas, and materials in advance and in accessible formats (e.g., PDF or HTML) [1,3]. This helps people with visual or cognitive disabilities to use their assistive technologies and review the content at their own pace. It also helps people with limited travel funds to decide whether to attend in person or online.
- Provide live captioning and transcripts using platforms that support them (e.g., Zoom or Microsoft Teams) [1,2]. This helps people with hearing impairments or non-native English speakers to follow and participate better.
- Embrace different ways of interacting in a videoconference  (e.g., Q&A, hand-raising, reactions) and encourage participants to use their video and microphone when possible. This helps people with different communication styles and preferences to engage more comfortably and confidently.
- Use a headset and microphone [3,4] and ask participants to do the same to reduce background noise and improve audio quality. This helps everyone to hear and speak more clearly and avoid distractions or interruptions.
- Create a culture of inclusivity [1,4] where participants feel comfortable speaking up or asking for what they need to access the meeting.
- Ensure reasonable diversity of organizers, speakers, and chairs to reflect your working group. This helps everyone to feel respected and valued, and fosters collaboration.
Thank you for your attention and cooperation.
LISA Consortium DEI Committee
- 15 Tips to Make Meetings More Accessible for Everyone, Jill Duffy PC Mag.
- How to make meetings more accessible and inclusive with Microsoft Teams
- How to Make Virtual Meetings Accessible
- Hosting accessible and inclusive online meetings and events
- How to host an accessible online meeting