Best Practices for Supporting Accessibility with Zoom

To enable an inclusive learning and working environment, there are a few steps you’ll need to take. Some tasks you’ll do just once before you connect to meetings. Some tasks have to be done in the Zoom Account or Meeting Settings at the start of each and every meeting. And there are some optional things you can do after meetings to make resources more accessible. You’ll find links to our guides and checklists just below on this page.

Enabling automatic captions is the easiest thing you can do and the resources linked below explain how. Captions help not just those with auditory impairments, but also those who may be in noisy environments, who have to step away and need to catch up when they return, or those for whom English is not their first language. The goal is ubiquity, so that participants need not identify their need in order to have an accommodation available.

In addition to setting up and turning on automatic captions, we offer some guidance on how to improve the quality of the video and audio that you send. This will help your participants to better see you and hear you, both of which improve comprehension. When audio is of poor quality, captions will be inaccurate more often, as well.

If you find that you need a better microphone or camera, contact the Technology Services Videoconferencing Group. We will provide guidance on what equipment you may borrow on loan for your use or what you might purchase, if necessary. 

Finally, you’ll find some information on how to improve the clarity and usefulness of your shared screen content, be it documents or presentation slides. Plan to make the documents that you will show available to your students ahead of class. This makes them available and accessible to everyone across a wide range of potential challenges, such as poor Internet and visual impairments. Screen readers can read a copy of your document on your student’s computer, but cannot read text in the shared image in Zoom.

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