How I strive to build-in attempts to maximize accessibility proactively for synchronous time:
- Any space I hold is a “come as you are” space, which means I encourage eating, drinking water, and doing whatever you need to do during our synchronous and/or asynchronous gathering times. I often show up to "professional" spaces in pajamas.
- If I am in a position where it makes sense (e.g., the space's organizer or with consent of the space's organizer) I attempt to announce how to access accessibility, and provide support in real time when issues inevitably arise. Access issues are important enough that they call for the continuation of synchronous time to be paused until any access issues are resolved.
- As a further elaboration of the last point, I attempt to announce how to access certain features (e.g., how to enable captions, how to pin interpreters) and otherwise engage in the space (e.g., when to ask questions; when to interrupt - always for access issues; whether, when, and how you may communicate with others).
- If any, I hope to make presentation materials or other details about what to expect available at least one week in advance and remain available after synchronous gathering.
- During synchronous gatherings, invitations for engagement will be extended, but never forced. If engagement allows for full introductions, invitations can include names, visual descriptions, pronouns, access check-ins (#7 on this website is another resource about access check-ins), and land acknowledgements. Each is optional to ensure we reduce discomfort, and are not shamed for being unprepared or expected to share something nonconsensual.
- I will try my best to announce my name before each time I start speaking (e.g., "this is Deanna" or "Deanna here"), use plain language, indicate I have finished speaking, voice observed visual cues, and speak slower.
- I intend to make space to collectively develop and/or communicate my own community guidelines
- I intend and will do my best to describe any visual information verbally (including myself), as well as in the presentation speaker notes of the PowerPoint for any images or designs on slides.
- I intend to ensure any of my own slides and communications include image descriptions in addition to alt text, camel case, and descriptive hyperlinks.
- I welcome a culture of disrupting me for access reasons.
- Depending on the space, chat will usually be limited in session and I will attempt to only share essential chat announcements with silent room for read-aloud. However, I will also voice any chat participation if requested. Any method of communication will be welcomed.
- I try to build in breaks.
- I negotiate the use breakout rooms, and if they are used, the large room is open as a breakout room with access to the captioning.
- For asynchronous access and re-processing accessibility, I attempt to make my spaces recorded and shared with all who are registered and depending on the space, possibly publicly disseminated.
- Auto-captions are provided in my Zoom space, with access to Full Transcript.
- I want to be clear that it is requested by community members that Deaf BIPOC-interpreted ASL must be provided regardless of whether it is requested. I request it at any space I share and will continue to push for this. Captioning is not a substitution for ASL interpretation.
What can you do?
- If you speak using spoken English language, it could maximize lip-reading accessibility to have camera on, but I also support having camera off for any reason.
- Ask me clarifying questions. Repeat back to me what you think I say, and ask if that's what I meant. Assume the best of intentions, and feel free to give me access to how I can do better.