MACS - Inclusive communication guide

Inclusive online meeting, events and presentations

Before the meeting

  • For online and special events check accessibility requirements in advance with attendees and take reasonable steps to make adjustments:
    • A Deaf person may require a BSL interpreter or captioning
    • Check hearing loops for those using hearing aids
    • Book accessible venue eg. can accommodate wheelchair users
  • Circulate instructions, agendas and papers well in advance: let attendees know what they will be doing and what is required of them (additional time to review documents for those using assistive technologies)
  • Ensure documents are accessible, provide digital, printed and alternative formats (Plain text, large print, Braille)
  • Ensure polling and group exercises are inclusive, use familiar online platforms and accessible participation tools (provide alternatives)

During the meeting

  • Speak slowly and clearly, face the front (supports with lip reading and interpreting facial expressions)
    • Describe visual aids and read out important text on slides, eg. flowcharts (supports blind and dyslexic attendees)
    • Limit information to 5 bullet points per slide, use images for complex concepts (supports attendees with dyslexia and learning disabilities)
    • Identify yourself when speaking, don’t speak over one another, online meetings in particular eg. ‘This is Jane from the Bus policy team, I wanted to add…’ (clarifies speaking order for blind and autistic attendees)
  • Encourage all forms of participation: verbal and written eg. use meeting chat or allow contributions before meeting and build into standing agenda (helps with anxiety and attention difficulties)
  • Take comfort breaks and allow time for responses ‘I will give the room a few seconds to think’ (helps with video/audio delays, time for information processing and limiting over exhaustion with chronic illnesses)
  • Active listening and feedback to presenters: pay attention to signals from your body language, give clear visual/auditory cues in online meetings
  • Limit light and noise disruptions: glare prevents lip reading, disrupts concentration for those with sensory difficulties


Additional resources