June 23, 2021

6 tips to host Zoom Meet Ups

Are you thinking of having a collaborative meeting instead of a webinar?  

Here are 6 tips to help make accessible online gatherings on a limited budget using zoom.


6 tips for zoom meet ups infographic by Disability Action Hall If you would like the PDF, you can follow this link

Plain text is below if the PDF is not accessible:

1. Send reminders 

  • 1 day before the call send out a reminder from zoom meeting registration.
  • 1 hour before the call send out a reminder from zoom meeting registration.
2. Have Ground rules stated at the beginning of every consultation.
  • Reminders shared at the beginning by Emcees.
  • Make rules as simple as possible. 

3. Have a plan for the unexpected. 

  • There is zero tolerance towards abuse of any kind.
  • A participant/caller (who breaks the rule) will be immediately removed. 
  • The chair/host explains why they will not have the caller/speaker continue and then reaffirms the commitment to, for example, anti-racism work, and reminds people it is an inclusive, safe space, laying out the ground rules again to refresh everyone’s memory.

4. Set up a wait room 

Remind people they will be muted up on entry.

5. Create roles for the Online Gathering (support team) 

  • Have an "Open Mic person
  • A Muter/Timekeeper
  • Conflict for the Unexpected
  • Cheerleader of Fun
  • Screen Spotlighter
  • Tech Support 
Have team join rehearsal and show up 20 minutes in advance of meeting to assign roles and test sound

6. Access tips for lip readers and hearing loss 

  • Before joining a video call, spend a few minutes adjusting your position and equipment for best sound, light on your face (not from behind) look directly into the camera.
  • Limit background noise, use headphones if possible.
  • With a highly accented voice, the auto-captioning system will have a hard time. 
  • Keep headphones and a microphone close to lips. 
  • Show documents into the camera or share your screen with the documents. 
  • Users can slow it down to help listeners.
  • Reading lips and reading captions imposes multi-tasking on the person with hearing loss. 
  • Keep video conference calls to an hour. 
  • Ensure people talk one at a time, and repeat when necessary (if difficulty hearing).
  • Rephrase wording with different vocabulary if there is difficulty picking up the speech.
  • Use chat function to convey key points during video-conference calls.
  • Keeping captions 2 lines can accommodate a chunk of speech that can be quickly read and is long enough to maintain the gist of what is being said at that moment. Avoid Jumbotron auto-captions (showing only a few words at a time; as makes it hard to follow).

Software solutions: 


Our gratitude to: 
Sheila Serup, Canadian Hard of Hearing Association - Calgary
Meaghon Reid & Jaclyn Silbernagel, Vibrant Communities Calgary providing insight to help make inclusive safe spaces.

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