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Good Practice Guidelines for Hosting Accessible In-Person Meetings

The "Good Practice Guidelines for Hosting Accessible In-Person Meetings" document is a resource for anyone involved in organising or hosting face-to-face and in-person meetings.

This guide covers various aspects of meeting preparation and execution, emphasising the importance of accessibility at each stage. The guidelines also provide specific advice for in-person meetings, ensuring that all participants, regardless of their needs, can fully engage and contribute.

By following these guidelines, you demonstrate a commitment to creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and heard. This not only enhances the experience for all attendees but also fosters a culture of respect and equality. Whether you are a seasoned event planner or new to organising meetings, this document will help you host a meeting that is more accessible, effective, and inclusive for all.

Planning / Prior to the meeting

  • If there is a registration process to attend the meeting, make sure to ask attendees if they have any accessibility requirements to participate in the meeting.
  • Share the agenda with all invitees.
  • Distribute presentation slides in advance, this will ensure that everyone has prior insight into the topics & information to be discussed.
  • Book Auslan interpreters well in advance if you think they will be needed. These can always be cancelled if not required.
  • Book live captioning service well in advance if you think they will be needed. These can always be cancelled if not required.

Check the accessibility of any presentations

  • Structure your content logically.
  • Use descriptive titles on each slide.
  • Ensure the reading order is correct.
  • Add descriptive alt text for all images.
  • Caption all videos and ensure transcripts are accessible.
  • Check colour contrast for readability.
  • Refer to the ADCET website for information on Creating accessible PowerPoints.
  • Provide an accessible format, such as Microsoft Word, of any presentations to any blind or vision impaired attendees in advance of the meeting. Refer to the ADCET website for information on Creating Accessible Documents.

Venue checklist

  • Ensure adequate signage and venue location information is made available for attendees, including transportation options if necessary.
  • If alternate entrances to the venue are available, inform attendees.
  • Ensure the room has adequate lighting.
  • Check the room for Hearing loop facilities.
  • For smaller meetings, arrange tables in a square or semi-circle to allow visibility of all attendees.
  • Ensure accessible bathroom facilities are close by
  • Does the venue have roving microphones for questions with larger audiences.
  • Are there provisions for wheelchairs and service animals if needed or can furniture be moved if necessary.

30 minutes before the meeting

  • Welcome all presenters and ensure they have an up-to-date agenda or running order.
  • Check presentation / screen sharing works as intended for all presenters.
  • Check if any embedded audio will be used during the presentation, e.g. video or podcast, and check that the sound is clear and audible.
  • Check audio levels of all presenters and ensure the quality of audio is clear. Ensure speakers faces are visible and well-lit.
  • If an Auslan interpreter is present, ensure they can be seen and are well lit.
  • Check if any presenters have any questions prior to the meeting.

Start of meeting

  • Inform attendees if the meeting is being recorded and what is being recorded.
  • Explain meeting structure and order of proceedings, including breaks.
  • Explain to attendees how that can participate/ask questions.
  • Provide any relevant housekeeping information, exits, toilets etc.
  • For smaller meetings conduct a roll call so everyone knows who is present.

During the meeting

  • Describe any visual content for participants who are blind or have low vision
  • Repeat and rephrase any questions in case not everyone heard it clearly.
  • Provide short breaks during longer meetings to prevent attendee and host fatigue

After the meeting

  • Share meeting notes and recordings with all participants.
  • Provide feedback forms to gather input on accessibility and inclusiveness.
  • Review and address any accessibility issues reported.

Download the Guidelines

Good Practice Guidelines for Hosting Accessible In-Person Meetings (doc)