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As McMaster courses and meetings are transitioning to online and virtual spaces, please take a moment to review the ways you can engage digital formats, technologies and platforms to enhance the accessibility and experience of individuals with disabilities, particularly those who use assistive technologies to navigate online spaces.

To support you best in creating and maintaining accessible online meeting and communications-focused spaces, the following best practices and skill-building tutorials and resources have been put together for you to enhance the accessibility and usability of McMaster-supported technologies (e.g. Microsoft Teams and Zoom). Please also note resources and training to support you in creating and publishing accessible digital content (e.g. documents, emails and presentations). 

  • For staff who require support in accommodating employees with disabilities in their units, please contact Employee Health Services. 
  • For staff who require workplace accommodations to support their own disability-related needs, please contact Employee Health Services. 

Platforms with Accessibility Features for Online Meetings

Microsoft Teams is a unified communication and collaborative hub (and part of the Office365 suite of programs – free for McMaster staff and students)

Accessibility for Microsoft Teams

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All eligible McMaster faculty, staff and active students now have access to licensed Zoom accounts. Please note that:

  • In some cases, users may need to request a Zoom license. Generic, Departmental and Role-Based accounts are not eligible for a Zoom license.
  • We are still recommending students go with MS Teams for web and video conferencing needs.

See the IT Continuity site for more information.

Accessibility for Zoom 

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WebEx is a McMaster supported tool used for meetings, web and video conferencing.

Accessibility for WebEx

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Creating Accessible Communications for Distribution and Websites

The Faculty of Sciences and the AccessMac Program (Equity and Inclusion Office) have collaborated to create an extensive and simplified webinar series that will guide learners through the various accessibility features and formatting techniques for Microsoft products.

Microsoft Accessible Documents Training:

To access full text outlines for creating accessible documents and presentations, please access Social Sciences-developed training on:


Remote Meetings and Closed Captioning

Captioning video content supports accessibility for participants who may be deaf/Deaf, hard-of hearing, have cognitive / learning disabilities, who do not speak English as a first language, and/or who may have poor internet / audio access at home.

There are differences, however, between and among McMaster e-learning and meeting platforms in terms of captioning features that can be accessed in order to:

Remote Meetings and Captioning

The following resource on Remote Teaching and Captioning has been developed by the Faculty of Sciences to helpfully guides users through captioning capabilities for institutionally-supported teaching, learning and meeting platforms at McMaster.

This guide is particularly helpful for proactive accessibility measures applied to online learning environments and virtual classrooms, and is not a replacement for workplace accommodations for video / audio captioning and transcripts.

Peer Support for Employees with Disabilities

The Employee Accessibility Network is an online and in-person network of employees (faculty and staff) with disabilities at McMaster University. The Network supports peer networking and professional development for members, and acts additionally as an accessibility consultation group to the McMaster Accessibility Council. Please visit the Employee Accessibility Network page to learn more and join.