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Virtual Meetings & Trainings

Virtual meetings, group work, and training are one way the UW operates successfully across our large institution. Conducting operational functions virtually can take some additional preparation and consideration to be successful. Below are practices to make your meetings, group work, or online training accessible.

NOTE: While these practices may work for some academic course delivery review the Center for Teaching & Learning site for more teaching specific resources and information:

UW Teaching Remotely


Promotion and Materials

  • Include all pertinent information in the meeting invitation
  • Send invitation early enough to schedule ASL interpreters and/or captions if needed
  • Provide well-designed, accessible materials and resources
    • Visit the UW Accessible Technology website.
      • Resources include lists of keyboard shortcuts and instructions for assistive technology users and accessibility documentation for specific products (e.g., Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams)
      • Information on creating accessible documents, including presentations


  • Start and end the meeting on time
  • Welcome participants as they arrive
  • Encourage the use of video by all participants when possible
    • Ensure location lighting does not limit a participant’s visibility (e.g., avoid backlighting from windows or lamps)
  • Ensure all participants can see and/or hear all other participants, as appropriate
    • Have participants mute their microphones if they are not be speaking
    • Have ASL interpreter and caption windows up and running if needed
  • Ask participants to do introductions and restate their names again before speaking
    • Allows anyone using an interpreter or listening only to voices knows who is speaking
  • Provide accessible alternatives for collaboration if needed (e.g. voting, hand-raising)
  • Facilitate to make sure all are included and heard
    • Monitor (and read aloud) the chat, if used
    • Describe/explain any visuals not provided ahead of time
    • Describe/explain any processes that are occurring (e.g. simulations, demonstrations), if necessary
  • Record the meeting to allow transcription, or later re-watching, if needed


  • Set the computer up with meeting software ahead of time
  • Arrive in the meeting room on time
  • Participate from a quiet location; reduce distractions by muting phone and messaging apps
  • Say your name before speaking to the group to help participants track members; this also helps ASL interpreters and captioners
  • Speak clearly and not too fast; this will benefit many, including ASL interpreters and captioners
  • Avoid talking over others – this makes interpretation or captioning very difficult if not impossible
  • Limit side conversations and multitasking so all participants are able to acquire the content
  • Share all content within the video conferencing connection and use online tools (e.g., Google docs) whenever possible to ensure all participants have access.

Follow up

  • Add captions to a Zoom meeting when done, when needed for sharing and re-watching
  • Send a recap that includes a summary of topics discussed and links to relevant websites, online resources, and other materials discussed during the call

Additional Resources & References

UW Accessibility’s Hosting of Accessible Online Meetings

ADA National Network for Accessible Remote Meetings, Conferences, Training, and Telework

ADA National Network Resource on Accessible In-person Meetings

AccessComputing: Accessibility and Universal Design of Online Meetings

UW’s DO-IT’s quest for accessible Web Conferencing Systems