Ensure that all speakers are using a microphone when presenting—even if it seems that a microphone is not necessary. During the audience Q&A after presentations and panel discussions, we also specify that all audience members must ask their questions with a microphone so everyone can hear them. If a microphone is not available for audience members, we ask that the speaker repeat the question into the microphone so that all audience members can hear.
A high quality live webcast is made available on our website, enabling attendees to watch sessions in real time. All talks and presentations can also be streamed after the meeting is over on the R2RC Youtube Account. Livestreams, if you have a stable internet connection, can be free and easy to set up. We’ve created a how-to guide for broadcast your event live here.
We recognize that streaming is not always possible, especially for those without stable internet connections. This is an area where OpenCon is exploring ideas to expand accessibility, including the possibility of setting up a dropbox with lower-resolution files that can be more easily downloaded and viewed offline asynchronously.
Ensure that there are notes being taken during workshops and talks, and that these notes are publicly accessible after the meeting, as well. At past OpenCon meetings, session notes have been crowd sourced by participants, but to better accommodate participants who are hard of hearing, at future meetings it would be worthwhile to consider assigning a team of official volunteer notetakers to ensure adequate and thorough notes are taken for each session.
All OpenCon speaker slides are made available on SlideShare after the meeting. We ask that all speakers include a CC-BY license on their slides before we share them. In the future, we will also send presenters a list of guidelines for designing slideshow presentations (e.g. using sufficiently large font sizes, slides with adequate color contrast, and easy to read fonts). A full list for designing accessible slide content can be found on the W3 Web Accessibility Initiative’s guidelines for making accessible presentations.
To be more inclusive to those with hearing impairments and those with English as a second language, closed captioning for OpenCon pre-conference webcasts, OpenCon Live, and videos made available online afterward would minimize barriers to engaging in the meeting for both remote and in-person participants. This is not something we currently do, but it is something that has been noted by community members and that we hope to implement on in future years.
Ensuring that engaging with the meeting is accessible and inclusive