Accessibility at Johnson
At Johnson, we are committed to creating an equitable community that embraces students with disabilities and neurodiversities.
We work closely with student organizations like Access Johnson, Student Disability Services, and Cornell Health to help support all Johnson neurodivergent students and students with other disabilities. We also work towards dismantling the stigma around disabilities by hosting workshops, panels, and educational sessions around disabilities in order to normalize talking about them to create greater awareness around the diversity within communities.
ODI developed the Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Guide to help faculty, staff, and students to be more intentional in their engagement with each other as well as with alumni and external partners. You can explore the guide on this page through a menu format below.
It is our expectation that all meetings and events sponsored by the College are accessible to all individuals who are invited to participate. Taking care to create an accessible event benefits not only individuals with visible or known disabilities, but also helps to ensure that all participants/attendees, including individuals with non-obvious disabilities and/or chronic health conditions, and people of all ages and body types, are able to fully engage in the program.
Establish an Event Coordination Team
As part of the pre-event thought processes, include diverse perspectives in your brainstorming sessions. This may include developing an event coordination team composed of diverse representatives and/or soliciting feedback from the DEI Office during the planning process.
Establish a clear purpose and target audience for the event
Establish main priorities/goals for event with event coordination team and decide upon key target audience groups.
Establish an event budget
Ensure your event budget factors in costs including accessibility accommodations and inclusive catering options (more details on both considerations below).
When developing the agenda, provide ample time for brainstorming sessions to ensure that you are thinking through possible DEI-related topics that could be incorporated into the agenda, or could be addressed specifically through DEI-related questions as part of the panel/keynote/lecture aligned with your event goals.
Possible topics in this space include:
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) related categories
- Ability, disability, and ableism
- Discrimination in the workplace
- Faith, religious identity or secular worldview
- Gender identity and equity
- Global citizenship
- Intergenerational differences
- LGBTQIA+ identity and equity
- Partnership benefits
- Racial identity and equity
- Sexual respect
- Socioeconomic status and classism
DEI processes, systems and structures
- Communicating across identities
- Data metrics on DEI outcomes
- DEI-related governance issues
- Industry specific DEI issues
- Historical discrimination in different industries or areas
- Specific DEI policies at individual companies, i.e. multinational companies – how do they think about employee welfare across geographical regions
- Work-life balance/fit
Non-Equal Employment Opportunity Commission categories
- Managing difficult conversations
- Mitigating bias
- Privilege and power
- Social justice issues
Ensure proper time is given to researching representative moderators/speakers/panelists. We strongly encourage faculty, staff and students to invite a diverse set of guest speakers and panelists reflective of the current and future workforce and society in general. Before reaching out to speakers, we highly recommend being mindful of diversity considerations including, but not limited to, the following categories:
- Racial Identities
- Sexual Orientations
- Physical Conditions
- Cultural / Ethnic Backgrounds
- Countries of Origin
- Educational trajectories (e.g., first generation, veterans)
- Economic trajectories (e.g., low income)
- Learning modalities (e.g., journeys impacted by ADHD)
- Differing political points of view
Below are a few checkpoints which may be helpful when identifying guest speakers and panelists for classes, school and college events, and student club activities. Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and every point may not be applicable to your situation.
1. Are you striving for significant diversity in your mix of speakers and experts?
2. Have you checked that none of your panels or series are limited to all men or share the same racial identity?
3. Are you seeking to include BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) as well as members of the LGBTQIAP+ community and other underrepresented voices?
4. Are you ensuring that your featured underrepresented speakers serve as experts in their own right and not just as moderators?
5. Are you ensuring underrepresented speakers are not just limited to discussing topics of diversity, e.g., combatting racism, balancing of work-family life, etc.?
6. Are you planning your programming to feature a variety of subjects as well as topics and formats that are diverse and representative of an inclusive approach?
7. Are you pro-actively marketing your programming to attract a diverse and inclusive audience?
When looking to source a diverse set of guest speakers and panelists, you can utilize the following resources:
External audience outreach:
- Reach out to Alumni Affairs and Development
- For student organizations, consult your list of past members in Campus Groups
- Past speaker suggestions: ask your past speakers for their suggested contacts, noting that we’d like to increase our outreach to diverse leaders in their industry/field
- Check with ODI, Leadership Programs, CMC, Admissions, and Student Services for suggestions
- Utilize LinkedIn,
- Community resources
- Consider hosting your event virtually or hybrid to allow for greater geographical reach for your speakers/moderators
What are Disabilities?
Disabilities are physical or mental impairments that limit one or more major life activities, such as walking, seeing or hearing. Disabilities present themselves in many forms. Some are visible but most are not apparent. Non-visible disabilities include partial sensory impairments, such as low vision or hearing loss, chronic medical conditions, mental health conditions, and learning disabilities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 20 million of 68 million families in our country have a member with disabilities. People with disabilities are the largest minority of the U.S. population.
What is the University’s Disability Compliance Obligation?
Cornell is obligated by federal and state disability laws to ensure program accessibility to persons with disabilities, to provide reasonable accommodations to afford access, to remove barriers to full participation, and to modify policies, practices or procedures as necessary to afford access for an individual. Designing accessible events is also good business practice because it enhances the ability of all to participate.
It is the obligation of the event planner to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities. Taking the necessary steps to make an event accessible for all of the participants can be easy when done in the early stages of planning. Pre-planning for comprehensive accessibility often reduces the need for individual accommodations.
There is no single way to provide accessibility, and the type of need may differ among persons with the same condition. It is often necessary to explore access alternatives and to consult with the individual who needs access to determine how best to accommodate for a specific circumstance.
What Programs Must be Accessible?
Every type of program, meeting, exhibit, tour, and event, whether held for the Cornell community or open to the public, must consider the access needs of persons with disabilities. This includes all Cornell-sponsored activities held off campus.
There is also an obligation to ensure accessibility to events being held at a Cornell facility that are sponsored by an outside person or organization. If you are involved with coordinating the use of Cornell facilities with outside groups, you should discuss whose responsibility it will be to ensure accessibility and accommodations. Agreements for using Cornell facilities should clearly specify which party will assume responsibility for these obligations at the event.
Who is Responsible for Disability Access to an Event?
Event planners are responsible for planning and providing for the accessibility needs of participants with disabilities at any event sponsored on behalf of the University. Advance planning for accessibility will maximize the opportunity for all to participate and minimize the need for last minute, and perhaps costly changes. For instance, if an event requires bus transportation, there is no extra cost for requesting a wheelchair accessible bus in advance. If an accessible bus is not requested but a participant requires a wheelchair accessible bus, alternative transportation options will have to be provided and usually will not result in an equitable experience for the participant with a disability.
Who is Responsible for Any Expenses Associated with Providing Disability Access?
The costs associated with disability access are considered part of the overall expense of the event. Event planners should include the expense of any anticipated accommodations as a budget item in the event planning. Most accommodations can be made at little or no cost, such as choosing a wheelchair accessible venue for the event. Accommodations such as sign language interpreting will incur a cost. Event planners who think the cost of the accommodations cannot be supported by the event should discuss alternative funding sources with their supervisor or advisor. Before denying any accommodation requests, event planners should consult with a member of the Cornell ADA Coordinator Team (the ADA Coordinator for Facilities, the Director of Student Disability Services, or the Associate Vice President for Workforce Diversity and Inclusion).
As part of the formal invitation, specifically include language on particular DEI issues you would like to address to gauge comfort levels and fit for conversation.
Moderator/Speaker Bio/Headshot Request
Once speakers have accepted your invitation to speak, please request they provide you with a bio/headshot. Ask them if they feel comfortable sharing their pronouns for any marketing materials. If the speaker is speaking specifically about an issue that is related to their social identity, ask them to weave in their experience in their bio.
- Strive to avoid religious and cultural days of observance and College and University blackout dates when selecting event date
- When possible, solicit an array of locally women-, LGBTQ-, BIPOC- owned caterers for your events
- Make sure that catering can accommodate all dietary needs.
- Ensure that venue has all-gendered restrooms or is open to designating specific restrooms as gender neutral
- Ensure that venue has the option to set up designated rooms as needed and when applicable – lactation room, prayer room, quiet room, etc.
- For all events, solicit venues that cater to accessibility needs:
- Visibility – Consider those with impaired sight. Clear signage (identifying location and directions); well-lit meeting space and adjacent areas; projection screen visible from all seating (if using projection).
- Acoustics – Consider those with hearing impairment. Public address (PA) system; roving microphone; limit unnecessary background music; seating available near presenter for lip reading; availability of assistive listening devices. Is there well-lit space for an interpreter if needed?
- Mobility – Consider those who may be in a wheelchair or have other mobility impairments. Accessible parking near venue; proximity to bus stop; ramp and/or elevator access; accessible bathrooms; barrier-free pathways; wide doorways and aisles to accommodate wheelchairs/scooters; no loose cables across walking areas; chairs without arms; chairs not locked together to provide extra space if needed; not putting 10 people at a banquet table.
- Technology– Consider those who may need to use adaptive devices. Electrical outlets in accessible seating areas to accommodate devices, laptops, etc.; extra space or work surface. Zoom provides accessibility options. Please visit the Zoom Website for assistance in making this option more accessible.
- Service Animals– Consider access and space for service dogs. Comfortable space for service animals to rest during event; accessible toileting and watering facilities nearby.
Pre-registration for an event provides an opportunity for event planners to provide important details about the event. A comprehensive description of the event, including location, environmental conditions, services available, etc. will help participants determine what types of accommodations may be needed. Information that is helpful to know includes the distance to parking areas, the availability of transportation services, whether the venue is air-conditioned, if assistive listening devices are available, scooter or wheelchair availability, and the availability of food options for persons with food allergies.
If an event includes overnight lodging, the event planner should investigate the accessibility features of the lodging.
Ensure event promotion language and visuals are inclusive for target audiences. Please see this example for a guide to inclusive language and also utilize your event coordination team to review promotional copy:
When applicable, ensure that registration forms include option to enter gender pronouns with the option to print pronouns on attendee nametags.
When applicable, ensure event promotion is sent to a representative range of prospective attendees in target audience. Resources include:
- Targeted promotions to alumni database, contact Alumni Affairs and Development
- For social media considerations, see the section in this guide
- University Partners: Including other Colleges, Admissions, Centers and Programs etc.
- Practitioners: targeted promotion to industry practitioners through professional networks/groups
- Affinity Student Groups/Organizations
Include a disability accommodation statement in all publicity and pre-registration materials that invites participants with disabilities and other needs to request accommodations. This will enable the event planner to arrange most of the accommodations and services in advance.
- “We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. To be respectful of those with allergies and environmental sensitivities, we ask that you please refrain from wearing strong fragrances. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact (name, email, phone). Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.”
Eliciting accommodations and needs can be open ended:
- If you have a disability and may require accommodations in order to fully participate, please indicate here ___________.
- How would you like to be contacted to discuss your needs? ____________________.
- Please let us know of any accessibility needs you have ________________.
Multiple choice is also an option:
- I will need the following accommodations in order to participate:
___Communication Access in Real Time (CART services)
___Assistive Listening Device
___An Assistant will accompany me
___ Closed captioned videos
___ Assistive listening device
___ Reserved front row seat
___ Large print
___ Advance copy of slides to be projected
___ Wheelchair access
___ Wheelchair access to working tables throughout room
___ Scent-free room
___ Lactation room
___ Gender neutral bathroom
___ Diet Restrictions. List: __________________
___ Other: _____________________________
Prepare moderator(s) with panelist identification information and DEI-related questions.
- Pronoun, phonetic spelling, or identification-related information for each panelist that the moderator will be referring to consistently. Ensure the moderator’s comfort with this information.
- Specific list of DEI-related questions – discuss in advance any DEI-related topics to address
Pre-plan how moderator(s) would prefer to solicit questions/feedback from audience in order to ensure that many perspectives are included. Some options include:
- Two open mics where audience members can line up with questions or volunteers who can go around and pass out the microphones
- re-submitted questions as part of registration form
- Real-time questions submitted via apps such as Poll Everywhere or social media
Ensure that moderator is prepared to handle sometimes sensitive subjects (related to race, gender, orientation, ability, etc.) that may arise as part of these discussions. Plan to talk through specific processes to make sure the conversation is posed in an educational and respectful manner.
- Set ground rules at the start of the conversation
- Purpose of conversation is to provide an educational and safe context in which to discuss these sensitive issues. We ask all audience members to be respectful of differing opinions and ask all participants to actively listen in order to ensure an open dialogue.
- Use “I” statements when speaking from individual experience
- When applicable, offer to keep the conversation “off the record” or apply “Chatham house rule” so all parties feel comfortable discussing sensitive issues
- Allow the moderator to feel empowered and in control of the discussion
- i.e. if an audience member proves to be disrespectful, they can kindly let them know they are disrespecting stated ground rules and will not be able to participate if they continue with behavior.
Responding to Requests for Accommodations
Make sure you follow up on all requests received. If it appears you will be unable to meet a specific request, follow up with the individual who made the request to determine whether an alternative arrangement can be made. Focus on the access issue and needed accommodation, not the disability of the participant. When a participant requests an accommodation, respond as quickly as possible. It may take several communications to work through the details of a particular request. In some circumstances, several options may be available to address an access need. The option preferred by the participant should be given primary consideration. If that option proves difficult to provide or you have a question about whether it is a reasonable accommodation, consult with a member of the ADA Coordinator Team.
Offer Kosher, Halal, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free options as needed, and clearly label any buffet-style meals
Provide all guests with a guided map to note accessibility entrances/exits for the venue
- Make sure check-in tables, signs and materials are easily accessible and readable to attendees with disabilities
- Post signage at registration table if any portion of the event is being recorded
During the program
- Have designated reserved seating available for anyone who may need it or request it day-of, being mindful of space and ease of accessibility for those in need (ASL-interpreter visibility, pregnant attendees, large-body attendees, attendees with disabilities, older adults, etc.)
Send a post-event survey that asks about inclusion and accessibility at the event. Post-event survey sample questions examples include:
- “The event included a diversity of thought.” (Rate from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree on a 5-option scale).
- “The event speakers/moderators were representative and diverse” (Rate from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree on a 5-option scale).
- When applicable: “The event expanded my capacity to think about diversity, equity, and inclusion-related topics.”
- When applicable: “My accessibility needs were met during the event.” (Yes, No, Not applicable).
Send thank you notes to panelists/keynote/lecturers.
- If they incorporated DEI in a specific way, thank them for being candid and open with their responses that helped set the tone for the conversation.
- Solicit suggestions for future speakers and panel content topics to include in the conversation
Virtual meetings have become a familiar part of our daily life for many of us. Virtual meetings can present new challenges for accessibility and inclusion. This section of the guide is a list of best practices for making your virtual meetings inclusive and accessible to all.
- Include a statement on your website, registration, and all other communications that asks attendees to specify their accessibility/accommodations needs, gives a deadline for requests, and provides the name, email address, and phone number of the individual to contact.
- Ensure that the individual hosting the meeting is trained on how to set up and implement the platform’s accessibility features.
- List in all event communications accessibility/ accommodations that you will provide without the need for attendees having to request, such as captioning.
- Provide materials that help orient participants to your chosen platform. Offer practice sessions in advance of the main event.
- On Zoom, screen readers read aloud the comments in chat, distracting screen reader users from hearing the conversation effectively. As a result, use the chat feature sparingly; do not use the chat function; or designate a person who everyone privately messages, and have that person read the chats aloud and keep a record of URLS posted in chat and save the chat to make it available to users after the meeting.
- Consider your audience and language level. Use plain language when appropriate. Ask attendees if they can hear everyone or if anyone is speaking too quickly.
- Have a staff person monitor the chat or Q&A function for accessibility issues that may arise during the event and read aloud the author and questions or comments to be addressed. The host may also offer an outside contact point, such as an email address, for anyone who is not able to access the in-platform functions and monitor it before and during the program.
- Advise everyone orally and in the chat or Q&A function about the accessibility features/accommodations being offered and how to use them at the start of the event. Do a check of access features. Invite attendees to raise access concerns during the event and instruct them how to do so.
- Offer the option for people using chat and/or Q&A functions to have their messages read aloud.
- Offer different ways that individuals can access the event, including via Internet and dial-in.
- Provide all materials and PowerPoint slides in an electronic format, share via email or the chat function, post on a website before the event, and create a short URL.
- Announce at the start of the event how to access copies of materials and share the link on the presentation’s first page and in the chat/Q&A function and read it aloud.
- Provide CART (real-time captioning) for all events even if the virtual platform generates automatic captions, as these are often unreliable. Captioning creates a transcript of the event that can be used by everyone, including those who attend the live event.
- Describe all images and videos for blind/visually impaired individuals, as well as for those joining by phone. Some videos with descriptive audio can be found on Youtube or youdescribe.org.
- Sharing your screen is not accessible for blind persons, so send or post materials electronically on a web page in advance of the event. On the day of the event, provide a link to the materials in the Q&A or chat function and add a visual description.
- Sharing a video is not accessible for blind and/or Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons. Ensure that the video is captioned and also describe what is happening during the event.
- Try to schedule your event so as not to go beyond two hours.
- Allow people to turn off self-view if it is distracting to them.
- Have the event host only show the person presenting, along with the active ASL interpreter.
- Advise attendees to stay in gallery view so they can see all presenters and the ASL interpreters at the same time.
- Avoid loud and distracting noises. Encourage all attendees to stay muted when not speaking.
- Avoid flashing or strobing animations in presentation or other materials.
- For people who read lips, ensure that presenters have their camera on and are well lit.
- Ensure that the environment behind presenters is not distracting. If it is, use a virtual background, but note that some can wash out faces.
- Eliminate background noise by muting everyone except for the person speaking. At start of the meeting, instruct attendees how to mute and unmute themselves.
- Some apps can help reduce background noise on calls, such as Krisp.
- Allow only one person to speak at a time. This will also help the captioner(s) and ASL interpreter(s) more accurately interpret.
- Have each person say their name each time they speak so that attendees, captioners, and interpreters know who is speaking.
- Ensure that any voting, polling, or other forms of participation are accessible. Provide alternatives ways for attendees to participate.
Creating and delivering a presentation that takes into consideration the varied abilities of the audience will maximize participation for everyone. Use these simple guidelines to create a presentation that includes your entire audience and avoids issues during your presentation.
Be aware and open to the diversity in your audience. When planning your content understand that some of your audience might not be able to:
- See well or at all,
- Hear well or at all,
- Move well or at all,
- Speak well or at all,
- Process information in certain formats well or at all.
Your audience has both visible and invisible identities and accessibility needs.
Best practices for creating an accessible PowerPoint:
1. Use a simple sans serif font (e.g. Ariel, Veranda, Helvetica)
2.Use a 28 point or larger type. Here is a suggestion for formatting:
a)Title Text: Arial 40, bold, centered
b)Section Headings, (narrative text), Arial 36, bold, left-justified
c)Main text (narrative text), Arial 36, plain, left-justified
3.On the intro slide provide a link to your presentation so participants can follow along on their personal devices. Consider using a QR code for fast access.
4.Provide an outline of your presentation as an intro side and make it available as a handout. Refer to the outline as you begin each new section of the presentation. This will help summarize your points and also assist your audience with following the structure of your presentation.
5. Each slide should have a title for screen reader navigation. Slide titles do not have to be visible on the slide.
6.Minimize the amount of text on slides.
7. Check your color contrast with a contrast checker if using color combinations other than black and white. We recommend WebAIM’s color contrast checker.
8.Do not use color as the only method for distinguishing information, particularly on charts and graphs. Communicate data in both color and text.
9.Make graphics as simple as possible.
10.Provide alt-text for all images
11.Caption all videos.
12.Check your presentation for accessibility using the built-in PowerPoint Accessibility Checker.
Best practices for inclusive presentations
1. Speak clearly and slowly. Use a microphone if available. If there is not microphone, make sure to use the most up-to-date version of PPT and enable closed captioning
2. Be visible and in good light when you talk so participants can see your face.
3. Have a printed version of your presentation available.
4. Have a large print version of all materials and presentation available (at least 20 point).
5. If there will be an ASL interpreter at your session, provide your content to them in advance. Explain acronyms, terms, names, etc. that you will use.
6. Allow plenty of time for participants to read a slide. Cover all the visual information on the slide.
7. Describe all images, graphs and charts.
8. Provide a brief description of videos in advance of playing.
9. Remember potential accessibility issues with participation activities including question and answer periods. Use a microphone if available and always repeat the question so everyone can hear.
Inclusive design aims to provide the best user experience for as many people as possible. In practice, it’s a shift away from the one-size-fits-all approach that centers around so-called “average users.” Instead, inclusive design creates for a diverse range of users by addressing barriers and providing a variety of ways for people to engage. Keeping email, websites, and social media accessible means recognizing exclusion, learning from those with whom you engage, and presenting information in the clearest ways possible.
Make Text Accessible
Writing with clarity makes text more accessible and understandable. And that benefits everyone. Before you hit publish, consider how assistive tools like screen readers will read your copy. What about people who are learning English as a second language? Or those with learning disabilities or limited familiarity with the subject matter?
Here are some inclusive design tips for text:
- Write in plain language: Avoid jargon, slang, or technical terms unless they are appropriate.
- Don’t overuse caps. Full-caps can be difficult to read and misinterpreted by screen readers.
- Use a legible sans-serif font, such as Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, Tahoma, or similar
- Keep text at a reasonable size, typically at least 11 or 12pt.
- Align text to to the left instead of centered or justified
- Break up text into short paragraphs
- Use descriptive text with links: Avoid saying “click here.” Use descriptive call-to-actions like: Sign up, Try it for free, or subscribe.
Provide Descriptive Image Captions
Descriptive captions and alternative text (also known as alt text) allow people to visualize images when they can’t see them. According to WebAIM, a nonprofit with Center for Persons with Disabilities, missing or ineffective alt text is the most problematic aspect of web accessibility.
Several social media and Microsoft platforms use object recognition technology to provide automatic alternative text. Obviously, there are limits to its reliability. It’s always better to add a custom description when you can.
Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn provide specific fields for you to add alt-text for images and GIFs. When it’s not possible to add alt-text, include descriptive captions.
Tips for Writing Descriptive Alt-text
- Convey the content: There’s a huge gap between “Image of a chart,” and something like, “A bar chart illustrates that there has been a year-over-year increase in forest fires, peaking at 100 this year.”
- Skip saying, “image of” or “photograph of.”
- Mention color if it is important to understanding the image.
- Share humor. Descriptive text doesn’t have to be overly formal and should do its best to express what’s funny.
- Transcribe text. If the image has text that is central to its meaning, make sure you include it in the description.
- Learn from the best: WebAIMoffers tips and several example.
- Don’t forget GIFs. Twitter recently made alt-text an option for GIFs. If the platform does not support alt-text, include a description in the action.
Use a Color Contrast of at Least 4.5:1:
For people who are colorblind, or even those who’ve switched to grayscale to ward off the dopamine delivered by red notifications, color contrast is important.
The ideal contrast between a text color and its background should be at least 4.5 to 1, as recommended by WCAG. For larger text that ratio decreases, but it increases for smaller text. The variations may seem subtle—but they make a big difference for different viewers.
- Avoid green and red or blue and yellow combinations, as they’re difficult to read.
- Text can be difficult to read on images, so consider using a solid background or opaque overlay.
- On graphs and charts, consider also using patterns to differentiate data.
Don’t Rely on Color to Convey Meaning
Billions of people globally have some form of vision impairment, including colorblindness, low vision, near vision, and blindness.
Color can also mean different things for different cultures. For instance, red may signify a downward trend on US financial charts, but in China red is positive.
- Visualize links. Add an underline or a hover animation to convey that hyperlinked text is clickable. Nielsen Norman Group has helpful guidelines for visualizing links.
- Use symbols. In graphs or infographics, use symbols or patterns as an alternative or addition to color. Or, add clarifying labels.
Add Video Descriptions
Unlike captions, which are usually a transcript of spoken dialogue, descriptive language denotes the important sights and sounds that are not spoken.
- Descriptive audio. Described video is the narrated description of any important non-verbal elements in your video. This track is written and recorded to fit within the gaps between important audio elements. On social media, described video is typically “baked in” and cannot be turned off.
- Descriptive transcript. Sometimes referred to as a media alternative transcript, these transcripts provide descriptions alongside dialogue, much like a script.
- Live described video. Live video hosts should be familiar with descriptive video techniques, taking pauses to describe what’s happening on screen.
Before sharing a document like a PDF through email, on a website, or through social media, make sure it is accessible. Characteristics of an accessible file are:
- Searchable text
- Fonts that allow characters to be extracted to text
- Interactive features: hyperlinks and navigational aids
- Document language and title indication
- Security that will not interfere with assistive technology
- Document structure tags and proper reading order
- Alternative text descriptions for non-text elements
Include Video Captions
Closed captions are crucial for viewers with hearing impairments. They also enhance the viewing experience for people watching in their non-native language, or viewers in sound-off environments. Captions even benefit children learning to read.
- Facebook: Auto-generate captions, write them yourself, or upload a SubRip (.srt) file. Automatic closed captioning is also available for Facebook Live and Workplace Live.
- YouTube: Auto-generate captions, transcribe them, or upload a supported file. Errors can be corrected with the caption editor. Automatic captions are available in English for YouTube Live. Community captions, which allowed accounts to crowdsource captions and translations, has been discontinued.
- Instagram: Automatic closed captioning is now available for IGTV Live and IGTV. Otherwise, video captions must be burned in or encoded in advance. Add captions to your Instagram Stories, and TikTok and Snapchat videos, with custom text. Cliptomatic helps with this.
- Twitter: Upload an .srt file with your video. Twitter also has automated captions fpr video and audio.
- LinkedIn: Upload an .srt file with your video.
- When alt-text fields are not available, include a description in your caption. Here’s how they are typically formatted: image description: [description of image].