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Accessibility at NYU Libraries

Guide to support academic accommodations and accessibility at NYU Libraries.

General Information

According to,

It’s important to plan meetings so that they are inclusive of people who have vision, hearing, mobility, cognitive and other disabilities. Some individuals are unable to distinguish colors and need charts and visualizations to include other ways to comprehend the graphical information. Others may use a screen reader, a screen magnifier, or their computer’s keyboard instead of the mouse to access and navigate content. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may rely on speech to text translations - commonly through captioning - to understand speech and other meaningful sounds. Not all platforms support screen readers, keyboard accessibility, or live (or even automated) captioning, which must be taken into consideration. Additionally, similar challenges must be addressed when meetings are held in-person.

Top 5 tips for making a meeting more accessible!

  1. For Zoom

    1. use the “Live Transcript” (CC) feature in all meetings; 

    2. avoid busy or moving virtual backgrounds; 

    3. allow for participants to be on or off camera to their comfort level; 

    4. mute yourself when not speaking.  

  2. Ask if any specific meeting accommodations are needed and assign a person to be responsible for coordinating the accommodations.

  3. Share any materials that will be used in the meeting before the meeting begins.  This includes sharing any questions or activities that the group may be asked to respond to.  Ensure that documents shared in the meeting are constructed accessibly.

  4. For in-person meetings, ensure that there is appropriate ingress and egress for participants.  Provide a description of the physical space for attendees and offer a virtual option if possible.

  5. Understand that accommodations provide affordances for different needs.  Not everyone needing an accommodation will need the same thing, and at times there may be conflicting accessibility needs.  For example, some individuals with a hearing impairment may find Zoom chat quite helpful, while some individuals with a visual impairment may not be able to fully engage with chat because engaging with a screen reader can be limited.  Be as flexible as possible with the needs of your audience.

In Person Meetings

Sins Invalid has a great list of resources for making an in person event accessible, but here's a summary of some best practices:

  • promotional material should state what access needs have been addressed (i.e. ASL interpretation, wheelchair access, etc) and state that people can write or call to request specific access needs; provide audio description, captions, sign language, or CART if possible and definitely if requested
  • host a meeting near an accessible bathroom
  • offer a variety of food options for different dietary needs (avoid common allergens) and inform attendees what will be served
  • avoid spaces with fluorescent lighting
  • provide a variety of seating, standing, and wheelchair accessible options and describe the layout of the space to attendees

Virtual Meetings


Most of NYU is using Zoom to conduct virtual meetings, so familiarize yourself with Zoom's accessibility features.

Google Meet

You may use Google Meet for meetings and there are accessibility features to be familiar with.

Slack (Huddles)

You may use Slack for meetings.  Get familiar with their accessibility features as well.

Hybrid Meetings has a really great resource about meeting accessibility and specifically hybrid meeting accessibility.  Some best practices are:

  • Ensure that online participants and in-person participants can see and hear each other. This should include a clear view of the person speaking.
  • Ensure that any words spoken by a person without a microphone are repeated by a person with a microphone.
  • Ensure that captions and subtitles can be viewed simultaneously by online participants and in-person participants. for example, live captions could be on a display in the room while also being available on the remote meeting platform.
  • Ensure that online waiting rooms are disabled so online participants that lose connection can easily rejoin without disturbing the hybrid meeting.
  • Ensure that the timing of discussions and breaks are effectively conveyed to both in-person participants and online participants.

Additional Resources

Additionally, Libraries HR hosted a "Lunch & Learn" in December, 2021 where I presented on and modeled best practices for meeting accessibility.  The recording is available via NYU Stream (56 minutes 30 seconds; NYU login required).  Captions and a transcript are available.  Presentation materials (Google Slides) are also available for your reference.

Learn More!