Accessible Virtual Events – Practical Guide
In broad terms, accessibility is the design of environments where people with disabilities can interact in the public sphere with autonomy and efficiency. Digital accessibility, in particular, means that websites and applications in the virtual realm are usable without the mediation of third parties, allowing everyone to enjoy the benefits of technology, including those with disabilities or low digital literacy.
Thus, the concept of accessibility is linked to usability. Virtual events that incorporate the accessibility dimension in their planning, development, and execution not only guarantee the exercise of fundamental rights but also broaden their chances of outreach. Including accessibility standards and tools such as captioning, sign language, and accessible design allows more users to enjoy and interact with the content.
ADC’s campaign PUEDA – For an Accessible Digital Environment – aims to create awareness that accessibility is a right through accessible digital products. In joint collaboration with professionals from various fields with and without disabilities, we developed virtual content and held webinars including accessibility standards. The guide we present here is a compilation of the lessons learned from our journey to motivate other organizations and users to follow our steps, honoring fundamental rights by including accessibility criteria in their events.
Our experience has shown us that adopting these guidelines in digital content requires a continuous and iterative process, i.e., nonlinear, comprising instances of automatic validation and user experience. The guide goes beyond viewing the subject solely as a technical necessity, deepening into the inclusion and human rights dimensions. It comprises three interrelated stages: before, during, and after the production of the material.