Accessible Content and Communication

Guide for Community Involvement

About this guide

So much of our communication happens through technology. It’s important to make sure that all content shared with participants is accessible. By doing so you’ll help to ensure that everyone can get the information they need to fully participate in your co-design session.

This guide includes a list of resources that describe how to make various media accessible, ranging from PowerPoint slide decks to videos.

Detailed accessibility information about the event, the space, the agenda, the location and any specific arrangements can be documented in an Access Guide.

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Sharing content in multiple formats

Ideas can be communicated in many different formats. Sharing co-design related content in alternative formats helps to ensure that everyone can access it.

Audio or Video Prompts

Creating a prompt for your co-design session to introduce participants to the activities you will be doing, or to present any preparatory work you would like them to do, is a great way to engage your co-designers. For many, however, large amounts of text can be difficult to digest. Creating an audio and/or a captioned video prompt in addition to any text content can be a great way to ensure that everyone can engage with your content and come prepared.

Leverage technology in remote sessions

In remote co-design sessions there are many options for participant communication, whether video is used or not. For example, the chat channel can be used by both co-designers and facilitators to ask questions, to emphasize a point, or to prompt or conduct a discussion. The chat can be particularly useful for non-verbal or shy participants. Where available, reactions emojis can also be used to communicate feelings or other responses to discussion points.

Where video is used, participants can hold up written text that can be read out by other participants or by facilitators. Objects, artwork or images can also be held up to the camera to share with the group. Facial expressions and gestures can also be used to communicate agreement, dissent, or a desire to share with the group.

It is good practice to establish preferred ways of communicating early in your process so that your group can develop a shared understanding and agreements about how they will be used. In addition, when multiple channels of communication are engaged facilitators must be prepared to monitor and manage them to ensure that nothing is being missed.

Captioning videos

Media Accessibility: Getting Familiar with Online Captioning - OCAD Outside-IN - TIGed

Writing alternative text for images

Alternative Text - Accessible Campus

Making office documents accessible

Create accessible Office documents

Improve accessibility with the Accessibility Checker

Accessible Digital Office Document (ADOD) Project

Making PDFs accessible

Overview: Accessible PDFs - Accessible Campus

PDF Remediation - OCAD Outside-IN - TIGed

Accessible communication software

Many online software are in the process of becoming more accessible. Here is a crowdsourced resource that continually evaluates the accessibility of various software tools:

Accessibility Reviews

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Further resources

Homepage - Accessible Campus

Communicate Multimodally


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