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Accessible Virtual Events

Thinking about hosting an online event? Your event should be accessible for all audiences. If you'd like to learn in more depth about creating accessible virtual conferences SIG Access has an excellent resource outlining all considerations.

Accessibility Guidelines for a Successful Online Event

Have attendees register to attend your event


Knowing ahead of time who will be attending your event will give you time to organize any requested accommodations. Add the Accessibility Statement for Events wording into your event's registration form and close the registration period several days before the event.

If someone requests accommodations, you will need to get in touch with DSS to set up things like a live transcriber, if requested.


Consider pre-recording your event's videos 

computer with close caption bubble

Cut down on day-of stress; pre-record your event videos and send your video(s) for captioning. Pre-recording and captioning a video takes extra work up front and requires ample planning, but makes for an accessible experience for all audience types and gives the opportunity to edit and polish up your presentation. 

CSUSM provides FREE captioning services for campus related videos.
Request captions today through the Caption Request Form.


Verbally describe what is on-screen 

hand holding megaphone

Do not assume your event attendees are actively watching what is on screen. Online events make it very tempting for sighted users to open a new tab and passively listen to a presentation and non-visual users are physically unable to see what is being present. Talk through anything that is being presented on-screen in depth for audiences that are listening. 

Avoid phrases like "as you can see..." or "look here" as this is not very inclusive language.


Verbally read out questions posted in the chat

Q and A bubbles
If allowing event participants to use chat, please read out all questions and answers verbally and type in responses too. This will help accommodate users who may have difficulty hearing responses and those who are unable to view the chat.

How to select an appropriate conferencing/event platform?

As a starting point, the National Assiciation for the Deaf (NAD) has put together a video conferencing feature matrix to help outline some accessibilty considerations of commonly used platforms. This list has been developed with a consensus by deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind consumer advocacy organizations and subject matter experts.

Frequently Asked Questions