Events Accessibility Guidelines

Overview

Consistent with its institutional values for equity and diversity, and in keeping with its obligations, Princeton University is committed to providing a welcoming and inclusive teaching and research environment for all members of its community and the participating public. In this spirit, Princeton asks that meeting coordinators and event speakers ensure their presentations and the materials they contain are accessible to all participants, including people with disabilities.

The purpose of accessibility practices for online meetings and events is to provide people with disabilities an equally effective experience and timely access to the same information that people without disabilities receive when they participate.

Although they are designed principally to ensure inclusion for people with disabilities, the guidelines and practices provided here follow universal design principles and will benefit many participants. We encourage you to adopt them for all your presentations.

Planning

  • In your event announcements, include information on how to request accommodations. Sample text: "To request disability-related accommodations, please contact [name, email, phone, or link to form] no later than [five working days] prior to the event."
  • Budget for live, human captioning or sign language interpretation.
  • Provide materials in advance if requested.
  • If requested, or if you would like to offer it, the Aira service, for those with visual or print disabilities, is available at no cost to attendees. Schedule by emailing accessibility@princeton.edu.
  • Budget time or funds for editing automated captions after recording.
  • For in-person events, ensure the building, meeting room(s), and bathrooms are accessible.
  • For online events, ensure the platform is accessible.

Slides

Text

  • Use an easy-to-read font that does not have serifs, such as Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, Tahoma and Verdana.
  • Limit the lines of text on each slide to no more than four.
  • Use large, high contrast text for headings and body.
  • Avoid using italics for emphasis. Use bold instead.
  • Use lists, with bullets or numbering wherever possible.
  • Left justify text.
  • Use plenty of vertical spacing between lines.

Visuals

  • Select visuals carefully to enhance the presentation without introducing information that isn't covered in your talk.
  • Limit the information on each screen or slide, to avoid overwhelming participants.
  • Use high-contrast colors, and do not rely on color alone to convey information.
  • Make graphics as simple as possible.
  • Avoid presenting images of complex charts or tables. Highlight only the most important information.
  • If an accommodation is requested for slides or other materials in advance, ensuring they have been accessibility checked and fixed

Documents

  • Follow best practices, for example by using built-in headings and styles, providing alt-text for images, and using only simple tables.
  • Request guest speakers provide accessible documents.
  • If PDF documents are provided to attendees, remediate them or have them remediated professionally.

Narration

  • Dampen or eliminate background noise to aid hearing and comprehension
  • Describe visuals for people with visual impairments, viewing on a small screen, or who (such as the public or non-native speakers) may have difficulty understanding them.
  • When you describe visuals, be specific about the layout and the data shown.

Automated Live Captions

Machine-generated live captions are a helpful feature for many people. Note that automated live captions are not necessarily sufficient for those who require captions as an accommodation. In such instances, meeting organizers should follow an attendee's accommodation need: in the case of a member of the University community, as documented by the Office of Disabilities, Human Resources, or the Office of the Dean of the Faculty; or in the case of a member of the public, as requested.

Zoom Automated Live Captions

For attendees to view live captions, the host must first enable the feature in their Zoom settings. Attendees then have the option to turn captions on for themselves. Note that captions are not saved.

Meeting host

Enable automated live captions in your settings:

  1. Go to your Zoom settings.
  2. Under Meeting settings, select In Meeting (Advanced) settings.
  3. Scroll to the Closed Captioning setting.
  4. Underneath it, check the box for Enable live transcription service.

Once in the meeting:

  1. In the Zoom toolbar, select Live Transcript.
  2. When the Live Transcript menu opens, select Enable Auto-Transcription.

To disable captions:

  1. In the Zoom toolbar, select Live Transcript.
  2. When the Live Transcript menu opens, select Disable Auto-Transcription.

Meeting attendee

To view automated live captions:

  1. In the Zoom toolbar, select Live Transcript.
  2. When the Live Transcript menu opens, select an option:
    • Show Subtitle displays captions on the screen
    • View Full Transcript displays captions with the speaker's name and a time stamp within the transcript window
    • Subtitle Settings… opens the Accessibility Settings window, where you can adjust the font size for both the captions and the Chat window

To turn off automated live captions:

  1. In the Zoom toolbar, select Live Transcript.
  2. When the Live Transcription menu opens, select Hide Subtitle.

PowerPoint Automated Live Captions

PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 can create captions and subtitles live as you speak during a presentation. The captions can appear in the same language you are speaking, or can be translated to subtitles in over 60 languages.

NOTE that you must be running PowerPoint for Office 365. If it is not installed on your desktop, use PowerPoint online:

  1. Go to Office 365 Online
  2. Log in with your Princeton credentials

If Using Microsoft Office 365 Online

Choose which language you will use for presenting:

  1. On the Slide Show ribbon tab, select the drop-down arrow next to Always Use Subtitles.
  2. Select Spoken Language to choose the language you will be speaking.
  3. Select Subtitle Language to select the language to be displayed.

To set the position of captions or subtitles:

  1. Under Subtitle Settings, select the desired position of the captions or subtitles
  2. Avoid setting them to be overlaid, as they may cover up some of the slide content.

If Using Windows or Mac

Choose which language you will use for presenting:

  1. On the Slide Show ribbon tab, select Subtitle Settings.
  2. Select Spoken Language to choose the language you will be speaking.
  3. Select Subtitle Language to select the language to be displayed.

To change the appearance of captions or subtitles:

  1. Under Subtitle Settings, select the desired position of the captions or subtitles. 
  2. To change more aspects of the appearance of captions or subtitles, select More Settings.

Professional Live Captions

Also known by the technical term "Communication Access Real-time Translation" (CART), live captions are provided by a professional captioner. They may be required as an accommodation. Captions are shown over the bottom portion of the video window. 

For Major Events

  1. When you submit a request for Media Event/Production Support, indicate on the form the need for live captioning.
  2. You must then also separately schedule live captioning. We recommend CaptionFirst.
  3. CaptionFirst will then contact Video Production Support to coordinate captioning.

For Zoom Webinars

  1. To enable professional live captioning, you must first submit a request for a Video / Web Conferencing Account.
  2. Once your account has been established, schedule live captioning. We recommend ACS Captions or CaptionFirst.
  3. Contact Video Production Support with any questions or concerns.

For Zoom Meetings

  1. All staff Zoom accounts are Meeting accounts, so no account request is required.
  2. Schedule professional live captioning with either ACS Captions or CaptionFirst.
  3. Contact Video Production Support with any questions or concerns.