RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES FOR VIRTUAL ACCESSIBILITY
FOR DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING PARTICIPANTS
1. Ask the DHH individual if they prefer a sign language interpreter with video remote interpreting (VRI), or real-time captioning?
2. Since the DHH individual will be putting their attention on the speaker, they may also need additional support with note-taking.
3. Set up Communication Rules such as;
a. Each speaker say their name before speaking. Example “Emily Here- I have a question regarding Coronavirus?”
b. Presenter/Host/Facilitator please repeat question. Example “Emily has a question regarding Coronaviirus”
c. Presenter Answers and rephrases questions as needed when there is group participation.
4. AutoCaptions versus a trained captioner (CART provider) in real-time. AutoCaptions (like those used on YouTube) are often not an adequate substitute for real-time verbatim captioning, which is provided by a trained captioner. Do not substitute, as quality and inclusion will suffer.
5. When choosing software, consider finding a software that can integrate captioning (if required by DHH user) into the platform interface. The DHH individual should not have to toggle back and forth from a captioning window to the virtual presentation. Try to have them all on one window screen. This is particularly important when PPTs are being demonstrated and the DHH student must follow along visually.
6. Send PPTs, agenda, summary of meetings/lectures, to the accommodation coordinator ahead of time (it is also recommended to send to the students ahead of time to be able to review.) The interpreter or captioner will be able to provide best services with some time to prepare the material in advance (for sign language interpreters the production of interpretation is more fluid with preparation, and for the captioner they are able to load various terminology, names, etc into the machines dictionary for faster output.)
7. Can the virtual software record the lecture so that the DHH individual may review it later? Often the DHH individual is using much more mental and/or visual energy to pay attention to the interpretation, thus, recall of content is more difficult. Captioners can provide unedited text for free, but note-taking or reviewing the lecture itself is sometimes preferred for best references.