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Accessibility Recommendations

In partnership with SSD and Academic Advising Initiatives, the following recommendations have been gathered for the academic advising community.

Displaying a welcoming statement
This can be a statement on your website or advising canvas site, it could be a short statement within Navigate in the special instructions box, or somewhere on any directions of how to schedule an appointment.

Sample Statement: If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, welcome! Please contact me at [enter your VT email] as soon as possible prior to your appointment to allow sufficient time to secure any needed accommodations.

For Advisors, email SSD at if you have any questions about how to fulfill a student’s request.

Zoom Accessibility Best Practices

  • Reduce background noise.
  • Mute participants who are not speaking.
  • Consider recording meetings. This benefits participants who do not have a good internet connection or may want to refer back to the information shared. Remind participants you are recording so they can change their photo/name as comfortable.
  • Share content through additional channels besides the Chat feature. Some assistive technology does not do well reading links, screen readers cannot read both the Chat and the video at the same time, phone participants cannot access, etc. so consider sharing resources multiple ways.
  • Verbalize what is on the screen for the benefit of participants calling in, those with bad internet connections, or anyone unable to see the screen. Assistive technologies do not read screen sharing or annotations.

Taken from Northwestern Zoom Accessibility Best Practices

Using Captions

  • Students will contact SSD if they have accommodations for captioning. You may email James Bell, Senior Interpreter and Captionist to arrange services as part of the student’s accommodations if a student reaches out directly.
  • Web Captioner: Share screen and use web captioner. The user could have it running, and it would be picking up the audio.
  • Zoom & Captions
    • If you record a Zoom meeting and store it in the cloud, your file will also be transcribed! You can share a direct link with anyone who needs access to the recording.
    • The session host will need to enable closed captioning in their Zoom account and assign a captionist if a live captionist is joining the meeting.
      • Log in to Zoom
      • Click “Settings”
      • Scroll down to “In Meeting (Advanced)”
      • Toggle “Closed Captions” to “On”
  • Google Meet
  • PowerPoint subtitles: Have it running in the background and layer windows on top of it. This may be an option for group sessions.
  • Request captioning for pre-recorded content through Accessible Technologies