<- How to teach


Hopefully, you would already have in place a checklist to ensure that your in-person workshops would be fully accessible to all of your participants. If your organization does not have such a checklist, this is your sign to develop one! Disability justice organizations often have more information and ideas about how to do this. The requirements are often different for a digital space.

Wherever possible, ask your participants in advance what their needs are. If you use a registration form for people to sign up, include space for them to let you know if they have access requirements.

Some tips to get you started which may be appropriate for increasing the accessibility of your offer, depending on the needs of your group:

  • Ideally contact anyone who has indicated they have a disability or particular access needs before your session to check in with them about their wishes, technology and support preferences
  • Include accessibility measures in your ground rules setting for your activities, so that they are treated as normal elements of creating a safer community of learning
  • Ask all participants to say their name before speaking whenever they make an intervention
  • Give a short audio description of any presentation slide or visual tool used, including describing your actions if you are highlighting or pointing to something if that is unavoidable
  • Build in activities that work with the abilities of everyone in your group. For example, if your group includes blind or visually impaired people, make sure all activities are fine to run on audio description only, i.e. avoid using the Zoom whiteboard stamping tool to interact with an image, or energizers that include copying the physical actions of someone on screen
  • Avoid, as far as possible, any exercise that involves collaborative writing on a Jamboard/Google doc in plenary – instead, get participants to go into breakout rooms in small groups even if the entire group is working on one collective document, so that discussions can happen aloud with one teammate active as scribe
  • Double check that any platform used will work with a screen reader (Google tools are all fine)
  • Get into the habit of adding alt text descriptions of all images you share on social media and other asynchronous platforms
  • If participants in a synchronous session are sharing ideas on multiple topics at the same time that need to be grouped together on one single document (for example, “Successes” and “Challenges”), privilege more orderly forms of organizing their ideas (e.g. list making in columns) over more chaotic ones (e.g. sticky notes everywhere) to make the whole document easier to understand with a screen reader
  • If your funding allows, hire professional closed caption providers to add captions to your synchronous sessions. Zoom and other video platforms also have an in-built automatic captioning function on paid accounts but these will be of lower quality.  
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