The inventors of Zoom could not have predicted the level of use during COVID lockdowns. It is one of the easiest to use and one reason it is popular with business and families. It also has provision for live captioning for people who have difficulty hearing. However, the purpose of video platforms is to see who you are talking to. But what if they are a fuzzy block of faces? Here are some tips on Zoom for people with vision loss.
Sheri Byrne-Haber’s has some tips to make Zoom meetings more equitable for people with vision loss.
- If you send out presentation materials in advance, people using screen readers can download and magnify them. That way, they don’t have to ask the presenter “can you make that bigger?”
- If you embed text in images they just pixelate when they are magnified. That is, all you can see are pixels – dots.
- Use good contrast. Low contrast is still difficult to read with a screen reader. Larger does not make it clearer. Neon colours are difficult for some autistic people. Best is off white with charcoal or navy blue. Stark black and white is not best.
- No fancy fonts and make them a decent size. No Italics. Bold or colour change is better for emphasis.
Byrne-Haber has more detail in her blog post and it is worth a read. As she says: Don’t be the barrier. Be the solution.
Universal design is a thinking process. Once you start incorporating these ideas into presentations it starts to become second nature.