Accessible Virtual Meeting Platforms

Tuesday, July 21, 2020
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Eastern Time Zone


The widespread transition to telework due to the corona pandemic has made use of virtual meetings and conferences commonplace. It is important that platforms for remote events are inclusive of everyone, particularly in the federal sector under Section 508. This webinar will review features and considerations for ensuring access to virtual platforms based on the Section 508 Standards. Presenters will explain what makes an online platform accessible and highlight common issues. They will also offer recommendations and best practices and identify available resources for making sure that virtual platforms support everyone.

Timothy Creagan, Senior Accessibility Specialist/Information Technology, U.S. Access Board Brooke Aiken, Section 508 Program Manager, \IT Risk, Governance, & Policy, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Continuing Education Recognition Available

Certificate Credit hours
Certificate of Attendance 1.5


Brandon Pace, Enterprise Application Administrator , U.S Department of Homeland Security/Office of Accessibility Systems & Technology

Gerard Williams, Section 504 Compliance Officer, Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division (CAOD), FCC

Questions for presenters:

1 What are some feasible virtual meeting platforms for ADA compliance?
2 What conference platforms allow for a live ASL interpreter to interpret the meeting and call? Our company will not allow ZOOM due to security issues. Our platform is Microsoft Web-ex which does not have this capability that I know of. The other platform we're looking at is TEAMs. Can you discuss how we can include ASL interpretation real time during meetings, calls, press conferences, etc., rather than just live captioning for our Deaf and hard of hearing clients and customers?
3 Do the platforms you are going to discuss help a diverse group of disabled people? Take for example; a blind person. If so, what platform(s)? If not, what alternatives can be utilized?
4 My City refuses to implement closed captioning and other technology to provide accessibility for over 5 years now. The City attorney told them they don't have to, on no basis I can understand. So they haven't provided closed captioning despite a public promise in 12/2018 by my council member that they would. I followed up with a question about the budget, that there would be no last minute claim they didn't have the money and he assured me that they had over $900,000 in the contingency budget to allow them to implement closed captioning (and I asked for speech to text, speech to speech). Isn't it an ADA Title II requirement that local governments provide accessibility to all public meetings? Especially now with the pandemic, even able bodied people cannot attend public meetings in person.
5 Hearing Loss Association of America Chapters are seeking equal virtual closed captioning available for all platforms. Please help us to make this a virtual reality (no pun on words). Can you please address closed captioning? Oral hard of hearing people desire captioning NOT sign language interpreters, (we do not use sign language) available for ALL virtual platforms, not just some. This is the way to ensure ADA standards are put into place across the board.
6 Dear sir/Madame, Thank you very much for this absolutely interesting and currently hot topic! Will you also discuss features like video, audio, chat and voting options and recommend specific accessible conference solutions? With the high number of available systems and currently new appearing ones it would be extremely helpful to give some suggestions. Thanks very much in advance for your assistance! yours sincerely Ginger claassen
7 How do you implement closed captions with MS Teams meetings recorded videos so when you can play them back you can review the video with closed captions?
8 How can Teleconferencing with AUTOMATIC captioning be legislated to be free (across major platforms) to the hard of hearing community in the US? A hard of hearing person is denied automatic captioning in Zoom (and other platforms) unless they PAY monthly in a variety of ways (see below) for this IMPORTANT accessibility. -Zoom teleconferencing does not supply automatic closed captioning to free accounts.($15/month for Zoom Pro required) -Otter App requires a paid/subscription account ($5/month) to link with a paid Zoom account in order to have automatic captioning on zoom calls provided by the Otter partnership. -AVA App requires a subscription to be able to utilize AVAWeb to get automatic captioning on a screen with Zoom ($15/month) Accessibility to automatic cc in teleconference calls should be free for the hard of hearing community just as access to landline calls with captioning is already provided Free to the hard of hearing community in every state.
9 When using Microsoft Speech in a conference room setting what is the best application for displaying the text? Word, PowerPoint, or other (describe other)?
10 When making announcements of upcoming meeting - what are the requirements (and specific recommended verbiage) for letting registrants know how to ask for, and who to contact, for accommodations? Also, can you put any time limit on this? Example: "All accommodations requests need to be made by (certain date/time)..."
11 Can you provide best practice guidance for meetings that switch between multiple interpreters? Instructions for users to pin interpreters so their video stays on screen?
12 When it comes to certain rooms where anyone can join the call, there is a need for closed captioning. Platforms are making auto-captioning and reviewing these captions easier every day. However, that is not the case with audio description. To make a meeting or class that anyone can virtually join, is audio description required as well? If so, what are some recommendations to meet the need to audio describe live video/content?

Session Questions

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