GlobalMeet’s Commitment to Accessibility
GlobalMeet is committed to constantly improving our solution and creating features that improve accessibility, transparency, and inclusivity for different communities. Over 15% of the world’s population lives with some visual or auditory impairment, and as webcasting solutions grow in popularity and adoption, innovative technology must champion the charge of increasing accessibility. Even when it comes to physically navigating online, millions of people struggle with hand dexterity, making it uncomfortable or difficult to use their fingers and hands to type or maneuver a mouse.
Also, consumers are demanding modern businesses embrace inclusion initiatives. 57% of people said they feel more loyal to brands that are committed to tackling social injustice, and consumers want to know the companies they’re purchasing from are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). 92% of people believe companies should be making a firm commitment to these efforts, and Fortune 1000 companies are spending over $1.5 million a year on DEI programs.
Accessibility updates to technology are not only critical to reaching a larger audience but compliance and regulations are also encouraging businesses to invest in accessibility, too. Physical spaces have long been required to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), increasing access for vulnerable groups, and now software platforms are being encouraged to increase accommodations.
Changing Compliance and Regulation Requirements
ADA requirements are bleeding over into the online space, requiring websites to be compliant with the new standards of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Text-to-speech and closed captioning should be available as alternatives and offer clear navigation instructions through the menus. Also, colors and typography should be easy to read, especially on mobile, where visually impaired users might use a special tablet or mobile equipment.
What GlobalMeet Features Enhance Accessibility?
Let’s explore some of GlobalMeet’s features and tools that make it even more accessible and inclusive to different audiences.
Accessibility is a priority for GlobalMeet and we are always working to improve the experience for all attendees and follow the latest accessibility standards. GlobalMeet supports many assistive technologies for all users to engage with webcasts easily.
A screen reader is a commonly used assistive technology for people with visual impairments that transforms on-screen text to speech or braille and provides additional information about page elements and controls that are otherwise conveyed visually. Recent improvements to GlobalMeet include improved screen reader support for many elements, including media player controls. Administrators can include “alt text” for logos and other images to create a brief description read by screen readers. We’ve also added the option for a language attribute on events pages, allowing screen readers to properly select the correct language and voice.
For those who have difficulty using a mouse due to dexterity issues or visual impairments, webcast pages and controls can be navigated using keyboards and other types of input devices for easy access to all event content, media and information.
We’ve also updated default colors to deeper blues and grays for increased visual contrast and readability. In addition, many elements automatically change the text color to black or white to maximize legibility with your branding settings.
As 91% of viewers watch videos with captions turned on, closed captioning is critical for understanding video. Closed captioning helps encourage retention, engagement, and absorption of information. GlobalMeet offers users the ability to add captioning in multiple languages for on-demand videos.
Live Human Translations
Need real-time translations of your event? Use live human translations available in multiple languages to increase comprehension and engagement for those speaking a different tongue.
GlobalMeet’s Dedication to Accessibility
These are just a few changes our team has made so far, and we’re committed to turning new accessibility innovations into usable features. We’re excited to work towards a new VPAT and level of conformance rating according to the latest WCAG 2.1 standards. We’re committed to bringing high-quality webcasts to people worldwide — regardless of language, location, or accessibility. To learn more, contact us today.
How to Create More Accessible Virtual Events in 2023
While virtual events are more accessible than in-person events, organizations must embrace accessibility, equity, and inclusivity when it comes to building strategies for 2023 and beyond. Over 2 billion people globally live with some sort of disability, and a significant number of these are audio or visual impairments. Two hundred seventeen million people worldwide have moderate to severe vision impairment, and over 1.5 billion people live with hearing loss. As so many people struggle to interact with virtual events without an added layer of accessibility, creating an inclusive, welcoming environment during an event is key.
The Rise of Accessibility in Virtual Events
While many strides have been made to make technology, websites, and online events more accessible, there are still ways to enhance the experience. Physically, virtual events already add extra accessibility as they don’t require travel, walking across a large conference hall, climbing stairs, or other movements that might be more difficult for some people. A recent study also showed that online events gather a more diverse audience. People can tune in on their own schedules from home and immerse themselves in content the way they prefer.
3 Best Practices for Accessible Virtual Events
As organizations continue to reimagine accessibility in virtual events, here are a few best practices. Encourage your audience to provide feedback as well on what could make your events easier to watch and absorb.
1. Embrace Captioning and Live Translations
With 91% of viewers watching videos without sound, captioning boosts engagement, increases comprehension, and extends viewing times. Without captions, research shows that when people can’t understand or hear a speaker, they quickly tune out, leaving your event less effective and hurting your business revenue. Verizon Media research also showed that people are 80% more likely to watch your video if you have captions. GlobalMeet Webcast offers captioning and live human event interpretation in multiple languages to make your event inclusive across global audiences.
2. Give Attendees a Heads-Up on What to Expect
Make sure the agenda is prepped and available ahead of time, so your attendees can know what to expect. This allows them to make any necessary accommodations before the event starts, and cognitively, our brains are constantly working hard to figure out what’s coming next.
Some key items to include:
- Start and finish times.
- Speaker bios and session descriptions.
- Any social interaction that will be encouraged, like break out rooms or participating in the chat or polls.
3. Survey Your Audience Beforehand to Understand Their Needs
Confused about where to start on making your virtual event more accessible? Just ask your audience! A quick pre-event survey that asks for their viewing preferences, preferred language, and any other accommodations makes people feel comfortable and heard ahead of time. Avoid spending tons of time guessing what your audience needs, only to find out after the event they wanted something totally different.
Use GlobalMeet Webcast for More Accessible Virtual Events
GlobalMeet Webcast builds an inclusive culture that breaks down language barriers, fosters team building, and improves accessibility and inclusivity. Make your events welcoming to all audiences across the world with an innovative webcasting platform that scales as you do. Contact us today to learn more.