Teaching continuity: Accessibility and remote working for staff
By Samantha Ahern, on 27 March 2020
As most of us will not be working remotely, online collaboration tools and meetings will becoming an increasing part of our working pattern.
How do we ensure that all colleagues are able to participant in online meetings and collaborate effectively with others?
With regards to the documents and content we create and share with each other, these should follow the Accessibility Fundamentals guidance. The same as if you were creating documents and content to share with students.
But what about virtual meetings?
If you have colleagues with hearing or visual impariments there are a few things to consider:
- Have you checked in advance if anyone needs communication support?
- Make sure you say your name before speaking.
- Use a meeting agenda to give a clear reference point for everyone to follow.
- Make sure only one person is talking at a time.
- Speak clearly, not too slowly, and use normal lip movements, facial expressions and gestures.
- Have video enabled for those currently speaking and look directly at your webcam.
- Use good lighting to help everybody see each other clearly, which is important for lipreading.
- If you are using a headset with a microphone, please be mindful of the position of the microphone. Avoid covering your mouth.
A range of video calling services offer auto-captioning or transcription services, however these cannot be guaranteed to be accurate:
- MS Teams – live captioning is now availble to UCL staff and students, please see MS Teams live captions are here! for more information.
- Skype – How do I turn live captions & subtitles on during a Skype call?
- android Accessibility
When selecting tools please refer to the guidance from UCL’s Data Protection team: COVID-19 Data Protection FAQs