How do I Make Zoom Meetings Accessible?

How do I Make Zoom Meetings Accessible?

General Guidelines

  • Inform students they can rename themselves with preferred names, and pronouns, and pronunciation if they wish. Explain why they might want to do that.
  • Minimize distractions in the background: try to make it clear and white, avoid virtual backgrounds, make sure your face is well lit.
  • Speak loudly and clearly to improve caption quality. Remind others to keep mics off if they aren’t speaking to minimize background noise
  • Always have people speaking introduce themselves before they begin speaking to help with captioning.
  • Prepare students for the meeting on D2L Brightspace: make a content page in that week's module previewing the content. Post all slides or visuals beforehand and share lecture scripts if you use them. Be mindful of color contrast ratios when making visual content.
  • If you are performing or demonstrating a task live on video, provide the same content in an alternative format. For example, make a document with a photo and text description of each step. Don't forget alt-text for the photo! Post this on D2L Brightspace before the class.
  • Zoom’s whiteboard screens download as image files, which are not accessible for students who use screen-readers. So if you use the whiteboard feature, please provide the same content in an accessible format, such as a PPT slide.


  • Zoom meetings don't have to be live-captioned during the meeting. You can order and edit captions afterwards in Kaltura MediaSpace if you select “Record to Cloud” in Zoom. This video can then be shared in D2L Brightspace.
  • Personally recorded videos such as lectures can be put up with no captions/ automated captions while the correctly captioned version is being worked on. However all public videos (YouTube, Ted Talks) need captions before posting.
  • Visit our Kaltura MediaSpace Captioning Guide for more information on captioning.

Live ASL Interpreting

If you have an ASL interpreter in a class or meeting, please keep in mind:

  • Please avoid the webinar format unless necessary. If you have deaf users who must sign question or comments, they will not be able to turn on their camera. It is not acceptable under ADA guidelines to tell them to type their question in the Q & A box.
  • Interpreters usually change every 20 minutes, so please arrange for the speaker to pause during the switch.
  • As the host you can spotlight the interpreter so that they show up no matter who is talking.
  • Check-in with deaf participants before the meeting to discuss what works best for them. In general, we have found that having them “Pin” the interpreter works well, but find out their preference.
  • Try to create a "triangle of interpretation" with the viewer, interpreter, and speaker all visible at the same time.
  • If there is a shared screen:
    • Instruct those who need interpretation to choose View Options (at the top of the screen), then side by side mode, then right-click and "pin" the active interpreter. If they are not in speaker view, this will automatically switch to speaker view.

    • Related Articles

    • How do I make sure my Office 365 documents are accessible?

      Universal design boosts inclusivity by reducing barriers to access. In addition to being Federal law, it benefits all students to have clear, easy-to-use material online. Here are some simple things you can do to make your course accessible. Please ...
    • How do I Make PDF's Readable?

      A quick way to check if a PDF is readable is to try and select a sentence. If you can select individual letters, the file is likely readable. If you can only select a page at a time, the file is not readable. If the document is not readable, you can ...
    • How To Download Zoom (MacOS)

      How To Download Zoom (MacOS) Make sure you are using a MacBook or an iMac before proceeding. Otherwise, this instruction will not be the correct one for you. 1. Open up a web browser. (Example: Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox) 2. In the URL bar at the ...
    • How to Login to Zoom

      This article goes over instructions on how to login to Zoom using your student credential. 1. Open Up Zoom 2. click on "SSO" 3. type in "minnstate" and click continue 4. Input your StarID and StarID Password and click "sign on" 5. Click the checkbox ...
    • How do I Host Large Meetings on Zoom?

      What sort of invite should I send out? Create an agenda with links to each meeting and Embed the passcode in your link by copy/pasting the “Auto generated link”. This link allows one-click joining of the meeting without having to enter the passcode. ...