Thursday, August 21, 2014
LAAC currently uses GoToWebinar for our online trainings for advocates. We have worked with GoToWebinar to find out what types of accommodations they provide, and we were unsatisfied with the response. Many other legal services organizations also use GoToWebinar either for their trainings for attorneys or their trainings for community activists and clients. It's our belief that GoToWebinar is not compatible with screen-reader technology, which may make participation difficult for attorneys with vision impairments. There is also currently no live-captioning, which may make participation difficult for attorneys with hearing impairments.
In order to address our accessibility concerns, we have developed an internal practice for ALL of our trainings. We continue to strive to make our webinars more accessible for California's legal services attorneys, and we welcome any input from our members.
We ask in our registration process for any accommodation requests. Below, we have copied our practice so that our members who also use GoToWebinar can copy if they wish.
1. With every webinar announcement, we include this statement: "LAAC recognizes that the GoToWebinar platform may not be accessible to all advocates. We are happy to accommodate any of your accessibility needs. Please let us know in the registration process if you have a request.
2. In the registration process, where the person registering would enter his/her name, organization, etc., we ask this: "Do you require an accommodation to fully participate? LAAC staff needs at least two business days to address most requests."
3. LAAC staff then constantly checks to see if anyone has requested an accommodation. If anyone has responded yes, we respond with this email.
Thank you very much for registering for [training] on [date].
You are receiving this email since you notified us that you require accommodations in order to participate in the upcoming webinar. LAAC is happy to accommodate any of your accessibility needs, and below are some examples of what LAAC can provide:
A. LAAC can provide the PowerPoint presentation in advance in outline form which will be accessible for screen reader technology. Furthermore, the presentation can be printed and enlarged for larger font needs.
B. If you are unable to type during the webinar, LAAC can unmute you if you "raise your hand" to ask a question. Please note that you will have to CALL in on a telephone, rather than participate by using a microphone and speakers on your computer.
Please let me know if one of these options would be sufficient. If you require further accommodations, I would be happy to work with you to ensure that you are still able to participate in the webinar.
4. If anyone response that these options do not allow them to participate, then we will work with the trainer to see if s/he would be able to provide training materials in written form and schedule a follow-up phone call or email chat for questions and discussions. If requested, we are also able to have our work-study intern listen to the entire training, create a transcript, and we can provide that transcript to the person requesting an accommodation, along with a link to the video.
If you have any suggestions on improving our accessibility by modifying our accommodation practice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org! Thank you!