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Best Practices

Accessibility at Townhalls, Events, and Meetings

We are committed to providing thoroughly accessible events and meetings at the National Disability Center. Townhall topics are disabled-centered and so are our formats, moderators, and panelists. If you require an accommodation that you do not see addressed below or recommend an accessibility tip, please contact us

Online Meeting Platform: Zoom

We use Zoom for meetings and webinars because of its robust accessibility options. There are keyboard shortcuts that allow you to navigate the Zoom settings without using your mouse. They are listed in this article and also available in your Zoom desktop client settings, under Keyboard Shortcuts.

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters 

All Townhalls and large meetings will have ASL interpreters. They will switch about every 20 minutes. Their videos will be spotlighted, so you shouldn’t have to pin their videos. However, should you need to pin the ASL interpreter’s video, please refer to these pinning instructions


In the ribbon at the bottom of the Zoom screen that has Audio and Video settings, select “Show Captions”. (If you do not see that option, click on “More” to reveal it.) 

In larger events and Townhalls, we use CART — real-time captioning provided by a professional captioner — for higher accuracy. 

In smaller events or regular meetings, the host will turn on closed captions and use the live transcription feature provided by Zoom. However, it has limitations. Live transcription currently only supports English and the accuracy of the feature depends on many variables, such as but not limited to background noise, volume and clarity of the speaker’s voice, the speaker’s proficiency with the English language, and lexicons and dialects specific to a geography or community. 

Audio and Other Descriptions 

For blind and low-vision users, hosts and moderators will describe all relevant visual information, including the text, images, graphics, charts, animations and video that comprise the visual portions of meetings or presentations. 

Event Materials 

Presentation documents (PowerPoint, Word, and PDF) will be accessible and have alt-text. A detailed agenda will be sent 24 hours in advance of Townhalls and other large events.

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.