Accessibility of distant assembly platforms | Blogs

In the homework age, Sightsavers’s Kate Bennell examines the various meeting tools and their suitability for users with visual and other disabilities. In part one of this blog, she deals with remote meeting platforms.

During the coronavirus pandemic, online meetings have become the norm as employees mostly work from home. Employees use a variety of forums and tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, and Skype for Business.

Before the pandemic, I would have said that I am not a huge fan of online meeting forums, but prefer to meet colleagues and have face-to-face conversations, which reduces the screen time I had.

However, when it comes to working from home, this has changed dramatically – in fact, it changed overnight. I still prefer personal time, but I’ve embraced the new technology and learned to use it reasonably successfully.

This blog explains how these forums work, the features they contain to improve accessibility, and the challenges of using them – initially from the perspective of a severely visually impaired screen reader, but also other impairments.

Regardless of which platform you use, it is important to embed accessibility into your online meetings, ask your audience what they need, and manage their expectations.

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