Accessible Webinars for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People – Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center

Webinar Accessibility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People

October 25, 2020. This article (Word, PDF) provides a first-hand account of our experiences running Zoom webinars that are accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Although we expect that many of the concepts will apply to other webinar platforms, Zoom offers some specific advantages for reaching a deaf and hard of hearing population that we discuss in further detail below.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, webinars have become a critical tool for disseminating healthcare information in a timely manner, for providing workplace training, for engaging in lifelong learning, and more. Deaf and hard of hearing stakeholders are already at a disadvantage, compared to their hearing peers, where it comes to receiving information. More than ever, we must ensure that webinars are accessible to all, irrespective of disabilities.

This document presents general tips, our decision-making process and three case studies for webinars of increasing complexity, along with the lessons learned. Readers who would like to skip ahead to replicating successful setups may want to consult:

  • Case Study 1 for running webinars with a regular Zoom license
  • Case Study 3 for running webinars with a Zoom webinar license

Choosing Zoom as the Webinar Platform

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