Tips for making meetings more accessible for National AccessAbility Week

This year, National AccessAbility Week will take place from May 28 to June 3, 2023. Learn to make meetings more accessible with these helpful tips.

National AccessAbility Week is an opportunity to:

  • Celebrate the valuable contributions and leadership of Canadians with disabilities
  • Highlight the work of people, organizations and communities that are removing barriers
  • Reflect on ongoing efforts to become a better, more accessible, more inclusive Canada

To celebrate AccessAbility Week, the Centre for Workplace Accessibility (CWA) has provided three tips for making meetings more accessible for everyone:

Three tips for making meetings more accessible:

  1. Send an agenda ahead of the meeting. Include as much information as possible in the agenda. It can benefit many people to have a clear expectation of what a meeting will be about, who will be in attendance and what may be helpful for them to prepare ahead of time.
  2. Enable live captions for virtual meetings. Live captions support not only those with disabilities, but can also be useful for all meeting participants in general. 
  3. Consider the physical environment of your meeting space. This could be accessible parking, sensitivity to light or noise, accessible pathways within the room, and ensuring the location of the meeting room is accessible.    
Make sure to provide regular Access checks for participants

An Access check means you allow space for participants to tell you if they need any accessibility accommodations made because something about the meeting is a barrier to their participation, whether it be virtual or in-person. Remember that not everyone’s disability or medical condition is visible or disclosed - many different kinds of people can benefit from accessibility considerations. By asking every single person this question, both prior to the meeting and also at the very start of a meeting, you create a more accessible environment that supports all disabled employees, not just the ones with disabilities or medical condition that are visible or that have been disclosed. You can lead by example by letting your attendees know your own accessibility needs at the start of a meeting, if you feel comfortable doing so, and then inviting them to share any accessibility needs that they may have. Allow them the option of sharing feedback with you privately via chat or after the meeting, if they prefer. 

Additional considerations of more accessible meetings:
  • ASL interpretation
  • Assistance navigating where the location of the meeting is
  • Material requirements like pen and paper
  • Large print versions of materials or meeting notes and slides
  • Copies of slides or materials sent ahead of meeting

The Centre for Workplace Accessibility offers Accessibility Consultations. If you’d like to learn more about making your meetings more accessible, or if you’d like to work on other disability-inclusive initiatives, please contact the CWA by email at, or by phone at 604-822-8139.


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