Accessible Video Conferencing for the Blind and Visually Impaired
With the rise of video conferencing, it has become normal for people to communicate online. However, many groups can still struggle to connect. Making your video conference more accessible to everyone can be straightforward. But what about the experience of users who are blind or visually impaired? With Bluejeans your video conference can be accessible to everyone. So if you're looking for a way to better serve all of your customers or employees, read on!
Why Accessible Video Conferencing for the Blind and Visually Impaired?
Meetings that are accessible to everyone are good for everyone. With worldwide estimates of 285 million visually impaired people, they are important to include. By ensuring that video conferencing is accessible to those who are blind and visually impaired, it is also likely to be clearer for everyone else too.
What Makes Video Conferencing Accessible?
You need a video conferencing platform with built-in accessibility features that are simple and easy to use by those who are blind and visually impaired. Yet you do not want these features to encroach on participants who don’t need them, as not everyone requires them.
Here are some comprehensive accessibility features that BlueJeans offers to ensure all users are able to engage.
1. Closed captioning: With BlueJeans Desktop App, meeting participants can easily turn on automated closed captions from their settings tab. This feature will provide real-time subtitles at the bottom of each participant's computer screen, so they're never without their own personal guide to what you say. By navigating to the accessibility tab in preferences, blind and visually impaired users can increase the size of the font. Only the participant who enabled the setting will see the closed captions.
2. Hotkeys and Shortcuts: Many users who are blind or visually impaired will navigate using a device other than a mouse. They often rely on keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys. For example by using “T” to "push-to-talk" while your audio is muted. To speak, while on mute, users may push the "T" key on their keyboard to temporarily un-mute themselves and speak. When they release the "T” key, they will return to a muted state. Participation will be much easier thanks to this feature!
3. Screen Reader Support: If your conferencing call is using visuals, it is important for the blind and visually impaired to understand what is being shown. Screen readers translate visual information verbally. BlueJeans services are compatible with standard screen readers such as NVDA, JAWS, VoiceOver, and TalkBack. So with minimal effort, everyone can ensure that their conference call will be suitable for the blind and visually impaired.
4. Automatic Transcription: Transcripts are generated automatically and available immediately following a meeting. Using the Smart Meeting feature means no more fiddly buttons or menus! The transcription service provides a full transcription of your meeting. This can then be accessed using the screen reader support so that blind or visually impaired participants can listen to the transcript.
5. With the Video Pin feature, you can pin the ‘share screen’ to lock their position in the meeting as the "active" speaker (ideal for ASL interpreters). It is then simple to ensure that the screen being presented is always available for those with hearing difficulties.
So with BlueJeans features you can make all your video conferencing calls accessible, to participants who are blind or have visual impairments, remarkably easily. BlueJeans will continue to ensure it is meeting the accessibility needs of all of its customers by integrating inclusive design into its product development process. Getting it right for the blind and visually impaired will not exclude anyone else, rather it is likely to make the experience better for everyone. Why not try our Accessible Video Conferencing features with a 14-day free trial.