Nonprofit Radio for May 10, 2021: Online Meetings For All & Online Accessibility Beyond Meetings

My Guests:

Cindy Leonard & John Kenyon: Online Meetings For All

Cindy Leonard and John Kenyon continue our 21NTC coverage, with strategies and tips to make your virtual meetings accessible and inclusive. They’re with Cindy Leonard Consulting and he’s with John Kenyon Consulting.

 

 

 

 

Martin Cacace: Online Accessibility Beyond Meetings

We identify potential issues, help you prioritize what to fix and pick out the low-hanging fruit. My guest is Martin Cacace at Bound State Software and this is also from 21NTC.

 

 

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[00:02:05.94] spk_1:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio Big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me, I’d suffer with a vascular necrosis if you killed me with the idea that you missed this week’s show. Online meetings for all. Cindy Leonard and John Kenyon continue our 21 NTC coverage with strategies and tips to make your virtual meetings accessible and inclusive there with Cindy Leonard consulting and he’s with john Kenyon consulting, both happily named and online accessibility. Beyond meetings. We identify potential issues, help you prioritize what to fix and pick out the low hanging fruit. My guest is Martin Kosei at bound state software and this is also from 21 NTCC on tony state too. It’s vacation planning time. We’re sponsored by turn to communications. Pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o Here is online meetings for all. Welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 ntc, you know what that is. The 2021 nonprofit technology conference conferences virtual this year Were sponsored at 21 NTC by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot C O. My guests now are Cindy Leonard and john Kenyon. Cindy is Ceo at Cindy Leonard consulting and john is principal at john Kenyon consulting. They both have aptly named companies. Welcome Welcome Cindy welcome john

[00:02:09.64] spk_2:
thank you. Thanks Tony, it’s great to be here. Thanks for having us.

[00:02:54.34] spk_1:
Pleasure to have each of you. Your session is intentional. Facilitation choices, creating online meetings for all to enjoy. I put the emphasis on all, but I think we’ll, we’ll explore, explore why we want to do that. So Uh, Cindy, let’s start with you. What, what obviously is very timely but, and, and online meetings we expect to continue right. I mean these are not going to die once the once 90 of the folks or you’ve either been vaccinated or had the coronavirus or whatever. Online meetings are not going away. What just generally, what could we be doing better? It seems like it seems like a lot of mediocrity.

[00:04:01.54] spk_2:
A lot of mediocrity. That’s an interesting. That’s an interesting way to put it. Yeah. So the part of this session, the idea was that, you know, now that everybody has been doing zoom and online meetings for about a year now, you know, we’ve all gotten used to the technological parts. Um, we felt like it was time to do a session that goes beyond that somebody at the Ntc, I forget the breakout session. Um, but they said that technology is a mirror. So when you hold it up to your nonprofit, it reveals all the broken processes and broken tools. And I thought that was very apt. And when you think about that regarding online meetings, you know, everything in terms of inequity, inaccessibility, um, lack of diversity, power dynamics tend to be magnified, you know, where those things existed in person meetings. The technology adds an extra layer of complication. That makes things more inaccessible, more inequitable unless you do specific things to counteract that. And so that’s what this session was largely about.

[00:04:12.74] spk_1:
John you want to add to the Cindy’s introduction at all?

[00:04:39.44] spk_3:
Sure. That like Cindy said, you know, we really tried to share what our vision is for inclusive meetings. And so that means that all folks can contribute equally if they desire and that it’s okay not to using things like you would in person like a talking piece to go around and make sure everyone is able to engage meaningfully and to share. And that it’s okay if if they don’t want to. But digitally we just list people’s name in the chat and have everyone go through so we make sure we don’t miss anyone.

[00:05:00.24] spk_1:
Mm Okay. Okay. Uh so how can we be more intentional as we’re setting up a meeting? Is that a is that is that a place to start? Can we like sort of maybe take this chronologically through uh through a meeting? The pre meeting? The during the meeting and then the post meeting? Is that by doing it justice, if we do it that way?

[00:05:38.94] spk_2:
Yeah, we actually um we split we split our section up into three main sections. One was about inclusion and Power Dynamics. Another section was accessibility techniques, how to before during and after with those and experiential and reflective techniques. So we actually demonstrated a variety of interactive activities that could be used to engage your as a facilitator to engage the audience. So those were the three main sections.

[00:05:45.34] spk_1:
Okay. Is it okay if we uh well I don’t, I don’t want to mess up your

[00:05:50.34] spk_2:
no, you’re fine,

[00:05:52.27] spk_1:
john can we do it? Is that

[00:06:06.04] spk_2:
okay? I think so, yeah, john and Griffin, Griffin Castillo, um who’s not with us today? Uh Griffin and john were covering the power dynamics portion of this. So I think starting there is probably a good idea to john.

[00:06:10.74] spk_3:
Sure. So yeah, tony if it’s okay, I’m going to talk about some aspects of inclusion and then I’ll start to do that. I’ll talk about before during and after a meeting.

[00:06:18.64] spk_1:
Okay, Thank you. Great.

[00:06:20.29] spk_0:
All right.

[00:07:00.64] spk_3:
So some of the aspects of inclusion that we want to make sure people are aware of are the some of the advantages that we bring to our meetings online from having the latest technology to having older technology or only phones and even recognizing folks have no internet access in some areas. Understanding there’s advantages when it comes to digital literacy with computers or software, even having a dedicated space to participate. Our co presenter, Griffin Castillo, is the racial equity ambassador for the Oakland School system and so many students are sharing space with other family members. Understanding some people can respond quickly versus those who are reflective thinkers. So providing different modes for people to share as well as the very common advantages of having expertise, seniority or rank or relational privilege. So you want to be aware of those aspects and then there are specific things you can do before, during and after your meetings to make sure that you’re creating an inclusive and accessible meeting.

[00:08:26.04] spk_1:
Okay. Okay. Well, I mean I gotta, I gotta start with the obvious. You know, I’m asking neophyte questions. You, you all spend, I’ve spent years thinking about these things and I’m coming at it quite a bit newer, uh, for folks who don’t have the technology that’s needed. How do we include them in a meeting that we’re planning online? That has to be online by because of the pandemic, by the way. If you hear any background noise, I’m having some renovations done. So maybe you’re banging. Yeah, there’s a little hammering, buying little drilling going on. So, uh, that’s, that’s, that’s your lackluster host with talk about a non private. I mean, I guess, uh, they’re much, there are much worse environments to have to be a party to a meeting in, but I’m in a lesser one than I than I would like. But that’s what, that that’s what that is, listeners. You’re, you’re hearing my stairs being renovated. Okay. So what about folks who don’t have any, they don’t even access, They don’t have digital access. How do we accommodate them? How have we accommodated them and how can we going forward in online meetings?

[00:09:10.84] spk_3:
Sure. So two of the ways we talked about were make sure that you’re providing offline readable versions of any documents or presentations for those who can’t see them live or can’t see them online but may be able to download them as well as documenting your notes and providing recordings, either video or audio to allow folks to review materials, digest them at their own pace. And that also supports accessibility, which are some of the pieces that Cindy talked about. Okay.

[00:09:21.84] spk_1:
It still seems like, I don’t know. It still seems insurmountable though if you’re, if you’re giving them a recording, but I mean if they don’t have internet access, how can you give them the recording?

[00:09:44.34] spk_3:
Sure. So the example I use, I often work with native american people and for example sometimes they need to drive a half hour in order to get a signal on their phone. Or they could go to a library on the reservation or wherever they are. So it is possible for them to get access. It just may not be live and it just may not be high speed. So as long as you’re providing those materials and there is a way for them to get them and put them on their devices or print them out if needed. That helps.

[00:10:16.44] spk_1:
So as you’re planning meetings you need to be aware that there may be folks that are going to raise their hand and say I can’t attend the zoom meeting at one o’clock tomorrow. You know, I don’t have that kind of access or I don’t have the, you mentioned even the privacy, uh, maybe they have online access, but they don’t have a private space to to listen and, and yeah, to listen and participate.

[00:11:20.14] spk_3:
Sure. Yeah. So I’ll talk about some of the things um, that that I covered and then I’m going to pass it to Cindy because she’s got some great ideas and when it comes to accessibility for people of all abilities. So one of the things tony that like you said before the meeting, it’s really important to discuss the issues that I mentioned about, you know, advantages and and our vision um with those with privilege to get by in so that they understand we want to allow all voices to be heard and that we think about ways to include everyone when we’re planning for meetings, Um that we, you know, make sure that that is part of our planning. That we ask attendees about accommodation needs up front during registration and that we have a plan to accommodate people with different abilities so that you know, we already know somebody who can do american sign language interpretation. We already know someone who can live caption. Uh, the presentation that we’re giving. Um, and I know for example, other pieces that that Cindy helped us worked on was if you have somebody who is sight impaired or blind, um reading the description of any visuals that you have. And Cindy was also great because she added something called all text that I’ll let her talk about two images. Cindy talk about that for us.

[00:11:47.04] spk_1:
Let them uh, we’re talking about inclusion. Accessibility. Cindy, Cindy is them Cindy. Thank you. I just you know, it’s all done in politely but you know, we got to be respectful. Right? It’s

[00:11:56.73] spk_2:
all right. Yeah. Absolutely. And I don’t walk if somebody says she her I don’t I don’t freak out. Okay. I do identify this non binary.

[00:12:05.14] spk_1:
Do the better you do the best we can. All right.

[00:12:07.24] spk_2:
Yeah. So yeah. One of the

[00:12:09.54] spk_1:
we’ll never make that mistake again. I assure you that.

[00:14:21.74] spk_2:
Okay. Um So yeah, so um one of the things that we did uh did we did do as an accessibility technique during the meeting and we probably should be doing this for radio interviews as well. One would think whenever we did our introductions uh for example, I said I’m Cindy Leonard from local velocity learned consulting. And I am a white white person with long straight brown hair and green glasses and today I have on a plaid sweater and I’m sitting with a yellow blank yellow wall background behind me and the idea of describing yourself um for people who aren’t either are excited or how vision impairment, but there’s also people that, you know, if you’ve ever tried to connect to a zoom meeting on your phone, the video isn’t always great or maybe you’re not in a place where you can watch the video, but you’re listening to it. Maybe you’re commuting or in your car. Um, so having that visual described is really important, not just for people with vision impairments, but for everyone, you know, and I talked a little bit during my piece about universal design, you know, and so one of the great examples of universal design design that is good for everyone helps people with disabilities. That is also good for morgan. What more of an audience is the concept of curb cuts Now, this is a low tech example, but the curb cut that, that little cut out at the corner of a sidewalk, you know, it’s, it’s great for people with using a wheelchair. It’s great for people using on a cane, you know, walking that have blindness. But insults are great for women and strong women with babies in strollers. It’s great for delivery persons. It’s great for older people who tend to trip on, you know, as we age, we tend to trip more. Um, so the idea is to make your power point and your meeting and your handouts more accessible and it helps everyone, not just people with disabilities.

[00:14:38.64] spk_1:
I’ve had guests from previous ntc’s make that point often. Uh Usually I think in the, in the context of a web, web, web design, uh it benefits benefits everyone. It reduces, you know, if if you’re using the right contrast levels, it reduces eyestrain for for everybody uh etcetera

[00:16:22.34] spk_2:
etcetera. Alright. Yeah, it really does overlap. I’ve been one of my, one of my consulting practice pieces is web website development, which I’ve been doing for about 20 years and there is a lot of overlap. A lot of the things that I’m saying about your power point back also applies to your website. So for example, the alternative text alternative text is what is red in lieu of the file name of a photo. So if I’m, let’s say I am a person who is blind and I’m using a screen reader software that is reading the web page to me or reading the power point debt to me when it gets to the images. If it doesn’t have alternative text which is descriptive text that you deliberately added to the image, it will read the file name of the image that’s been inserted or that’s uploaded. And that means, you know, it’ll read like, like image, it will say like I M G 678 jpeg. And that means nothing to anyone. So the idea is to describe the images in the alternative tax, so that, you know, whenever whenever I’m trying to figure out how to do that, when I’m either doing a website or a power point is I like to pretend that I’m sitting here in my office with somebody who has vision impairment and that I’m trying to, you know, like, here’s a picture, I’m trying to explain to them what is on the picture. So it’s helpful to me to imagine a person beside me that I’m trying to describe something to.

[00:16:47.54] spk_1:
Mhm john how about um if we transition um we’re a little bit all all encompassing, but uh that’s okay, that’s fine. As long as folks get the information, it doesn’t really matter what, what format it comes in or what, what, what theme we use. But like is there anything you can say specific to during, during a meeting that we haven’t talked about yet?

[00:16:50.64] spk_2:
The, the,

[00:16:52.14] spk_1:
that we need to

[00:18:14.44] spk_3:
Sure. So some of the things that we did in our session and that I try to do consistently is when I introduce myself as you mentioned earlier, using uh sharing that. I’m john Kenyon and my pronouns are he and him just as Cindy’s pronouns, are they in them and I’m not enforcing that or asking everyone to, to say that, but it just helps people with different gender identities feel included. Something else I do is when I introduced myself, I say that I’m coming to you from the occupied lands of the native coast, miwok people and that I send my respects to them and their leaders past, present and emerging again to just recognize that the land on which I am currently living was not originally my land and again helps people who are native people feel included. And that’s a practice I actually learned from my Australian colleagues because they are trying to be respectful of the Aborigines, the native Australian people. I’d also say that what we try to do is have real clear guidelines for participants. Something excellent that one of our session participants shared was doing, including things such as suspending judgment, suspending guilt, suspending assumptions and embracing awareness toward understanding, embracing leaning into discomfort. If you don’t feel comfortable with the topic or sharing, being able to lean into that,

[00:18:27.14] spk_1:
lean into meaning, express it,

[00:18:29.29] spk_3:
that’s right. Being in

[00:18:31.08] spk_1:
a forum where you can you can say something

[00:18:45.24] spk_3:
right and being able to say so, you know, tony you’re you’re our boss and you’re handling this meeting and you’re not letting any of, you know, the emerging leaders of the younger folks speak and you know, finding respectful and positive ways to bring that out. So for example, just to name that, to say, you’re not letting other folks speak, why is that? I’m not judging you, I’m not shaking my finger at you, but that we’re naming it,

[00:19:02.74] spk_1:
bring out the power dynamics

[00:19:23.54] spk_2:
and some accessibility related things that we do during a meeting are they’re actually pretty intuitive once, once you hear them, but if you don’t deliberately think about them, you know that you can miss things. But for example, use plain language, you know, every industry has a lot of jargon and you cannot guarantee everybody knows the jargon.

[00:19:25.89] spk_1:
non profit radio we have drug in jail

[00:19:28.50] spk_2:
in jail. I like it. I’m not hesitant to put people in like a

[00:19:32.48] spk_1:
transgress

[00:19:33.59] spk_2:
acronyms are another big thing in our second, everybody loves their, you know, so don’t say in 10 say the nonprofit technology network first, you know, okay, well,

[00:20:27.14] spk_1:
and then they don’t want to be the nonprofit technology network anymore. They’re like, I was thinking maybe he said that, but I’ve been admonished by the CEO maybe I said and 10 earlier, but example award that the N 10 Ceo is is a regular contributor, a technology contributor to my show, she’s admonished me to stop saying non profit Technology Network. So it comes from that comes to the top, but absolutely acronyms, you know, fundraising is full of them. I do plan giving and there’s all kinds of acronyms around trusts and just the, the, the assumption that everybody knows what you’re talking about. I mean I I shoot my hand up and say, what is that? You know, I’m right, right self, I’ve been doing it all my life, so it’s, you know, Uh, so I don’t mind people, but if one person doesn’t understand it’s probably 50 or don’t.

[00:21:11.84] spk_2:
Exactly. Another another point, another point is to give sufficient time a little more than you think you need to for people getting into breakout rooms on on the online software, forgetting to any third party exercises, responding in the chat box, any interactive activities. Not everybody is a fast clicker. You know, like I’m a power user. I guess you could say I’m on a laptop or a computer, so I’m really fast on the clicking, but not everybody is like that. People need time. Some people need more time to find what they’re supposed to be doing or where they’re supposed to be calling. So you want to be careful about that as well? Yeah.

[00:21:30.24] spk_1:
All right. Mm. Um, how about after after the meeting follow up, john you had mentioned. Uh, I think it was you john readable documents. Uh, what else, what else should we be doing and follow up to be sensitive to

[00:21:52.34] spk_3:
Sure. So just to reiterate, like I said, making sure that you have all your documents and notes and things like that that you can share with people so they can download them and read them off line or print them out. Something else that was suggested in our session. And that we try to do is post meeting surveys and ask, how did we do with inclusion? How did we do with accessibility if you’re an emerging leader? Did you feel centered? Did you feel excluded or included? Did we give everyone time and space to participate whether they’re able to share immediately or There are more reflective thinkers, like many of us are

[00:22:10.84] spk_1:
Cindy, anything you want to add there?

[00:22:13.57] spk_2:
No, not at all. But that’s great, john that was a great summary. I would like to send a shout out to our, we mentioned Griffin Castillo, one of our co

[00:22:22.66] spk_1:
presenter. I was gonna, I was gonna put a moratorium on mentioning him because he didn’t join us for the interview here.

[00:22:58.84] spk_2:
No. And now so are other co presenter his name, I don’t think we’ve mentioned yet is Jean Allen and Jeanne Allen is she’s, she’s a dual role. She’s with a nonprofit, she’s on the board of a nonprofit in north Carolina with his name, which name of which I cannot remember. Um but she’s also uh independent nonprofit consultant herself. She’s been at it for many years. Very smart lady. She ran she talked about all of the interactive how exercises how to include more engagement and your breakout session to make it more interesting or in your in your online meeting.

[00:23:12.64] spk_1:
Is there anything from that that you can you can share as well as you would have. But I mean for engagement possibilities in online Yeah, what can you reveal?

[00:23:53.04] spk_2:
Yeah, it was something as simple to an exercise. She called the chatter fall exercise chatter fall like a waterfall. Um And we put a put a question on the screen that says an idea emerging for me is why. And she had them all not hit send but deployed at their answers with the reflections in the comments box of chat box. And then she had them all had sent at the same time and it was just this beautiful cascade of all kinds of thoughts and comments all coming out at once. And there was a lot of, there were a lot of unifying ideas and themes emerged from that. And then she also showed us a tour

[00:23:59.21] spk_1:
which, hold on, tell me again, what was the lead into that? What was the statement that folks were supposed to fill in the blank? What we asked

[00:24:13.34] spk_2:
them to tell us an idea emerging for me, meaning emerging from the sessions of our is. And then they were supposed to finish

[00:24:18.85] spk_1:
Thank you.

[00:24:56.44] spk_2:
Yeah, it could be any question. Of course. Of course, Yeah. Um and Jeanne also did a live example of a google jamma board. So jam, like, like let’s Jam, you know? Um and it’s a really, it’s almost like an inner john you can help me with the description on this. It’s almost like a, like an interactive, multi user whiteboard. It reminds me of a smart board, did you have in a classroom or a meeting room? Except that everybody accesses it at the same time. And you could add post it notes and and print on it and scribble on it. It’s really eat right. The double suite.

[00:25:15.84] spk_3:
That’s that’s right. Yeah. It’s almost as if, as we often do an offline meetings, you have a wall where people are putting up post its and people can put up post its and write anything they want on them. We were able even showed folks how we were able to upload images and pictures. So it’s, as Cindy said, this nice interactive place where people can share, you could even do something like here’s a question. Do you agree or not? And put your posted five is totally agree. One is, I don’t agree at all. So you get a spectrum of answers and see where people lie on the answer to the question. It’s not just thumbs up or thumbs down.

[00:25:42.14] spk_1:
This is called a google jam board jam board. And how does it relate to using zoom for meetings? Is it a is it like a screen share? Someone shares their screen and they show their jam board and then everybody, everybody can participate how zoom

[00:26:01.74] spk_2:
meeting you give them a link and you send them off to the tool, they stay in zoom, they stay in the room so they keep zoom active, but you’re sending them to their browser and it opens in a browser tab.

[00:26:16.84] spk_1:
Okay. So everybody’s doing it independently along alongside zoom. Okay. All right. We have just a couple minutes left. Anything that we haven’t talked about that either of you want to bring up in a closing a couple minutes.

[00:26:28.64] spk_3:
Uh huh. Sure. So I think for my closing, I would just share a participant quote from our session which which really resonated with me and they said, even if I’m a participant rather than a leader of a group, I can still practice and demonstrate accessible and inclusive practices by describing visuals, Making sure I engage people in the chat, sharing my pronouns, making sure I provide room for everyone to share,

[00:26:49.34] spk_1:
john why don’t you describe your background? Let’s try to put this into practice and I’ll do it in my clothes, Go ahead or describe yourself on your background.

[00:27:15.94] spk_3:
Great. So I’m john I’m a white male, I’ve got gray hair and a little bit of a beard. I’m sitting in a room that has white walls. I’ve got a kind of a delft blue curtain behind me and some flowers, the flowers are called veronica. Um and so yeah, that’s and I’m wearing a dark blue shirt.

[00:27:44.44] spk_1:
I’m Tony, I have a red t shirt on my hair is mostly white, a little smattering of dark remaining. But, but it’s, it’s stunning and dashing nonetheless, even though it’s 90% white uh, you know, you’re supposed to not supposed to editorialize right, supposed to keep it factual. I have stunning, stunning, boring background of my hp printer and uh pretty much white walls behind uh in a red t shirt and I wear glasses. I wear glasses.

[00:27:48.84] spk_2:
Thanks. That was excellent. Uh huh.

[00:27:52.54] spk_1:
Yeah, they are Cindy Leonard. Ceo, Cindy Leonard consulting and john Kenyon principal john Kenyon consulting thanks to each of you for sharing. Thank you. Cindy. Thank you john,

[00:28:03.84] spk_2:
thank you for having us. Real

[00:28:05.84] spk_3:
pleasure. Thank you.

[00:31:44.24] spk_1:
Thank you for being with tony-martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 ntc 2021 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s time for a break. Turn to communications. Let’s talk a little bit more detail about them. The ambitious biden agenda released a couple of weeks ago. Is there anything in there that impacts your work touches on what you do at all? Anything you’d like to be heard on may be quoted on be a trusted source about you can improve your chances of getting an op ed published or being a source or getting quoted working with turn to because they have the relationships to make these things happen for you so so much better than you or someone in your office cold calling a journalist or blogger whoever it is that you’re trying to reach that doesn’t know you, you want somebody who’s got the relationships you want to turn to because your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s time for Tony’s take two. It’s time to plan your summer time off. Yes, I uh It’s finger wagging time. No camera here. But you got to take care of yourself folks. Please. You need to take care of yourself this summer. What a what a 18 months it’s been. Maybe last summer was a blur. Certainly you couldn’t go anywhere. And I hope you didn’t because it wasn’t safe. It’s changed. You know that master of the obvious. So plan your summer. Get it. Let’s get the plans going. Get the reservations made, book the week book the two weeks. You’ve got to block it and then preserve it, preserve it for yourself. Honor it. It can’t be interrupted. You got to set boundaries set that time for yourself and make boundaries around it. Honor that time. No, I’m sorry you can’t get together then. No, I won’t be able to do that meeting. No, now now that that weekend is not good. Now that week isn’t good either. You gotta make time for yourself and preserve it. Please yourself. Your family. If you have a family, get that time away this summer, you need it, you deserve it. You want to take care of others. Whether it’s on the professional side, those folks you take care of or it’s on the family side, you want to take care of your family. You’ve got to take care of yourself, please this summer, especially of all of all summers since last summer was such a bad bust. Set the time aside. Honor it. No encroachments, do it for yourself, do it for those who you take care of. That is Tony’s take two. We have boo koo but loads more time for nonprofit radio here is online accessibility beyond meetings. Welcome to Tony-Martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21 NTC the 2021 nonprofit technology conference. We’re sponsored at 21 NTC by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot C o. With me now is martin caucus a president of bound state Software martin. Welcome to nonprofit radio’s coverage of 21 ntc.

[00:31:53.94] spk_0:
Hi Tony, thanks for having me

[00:32:05.44] spk_1:
a pleasure, absolute pleasure. Your session was 10 common accessibility issues and how to fix them. I would like to start at the basic ground level. Let’s just define what accessibility is before we identify the issues.

[00:33:21.64] spk_0:
Yeah. So I think you can define accessibility as making well in this case like your websites, uh, making it accessible to everyone and what that means is that there’s four different levels. So whether they’re perceivable, which means that people can like actually see what’s going on operable, which means I can actually not like use your website without um special requirements. So if you for example a mouse or something like that, they might not be able to use that um understandable. So that means that they want to be able to you want to be able to make sure that people when they go to your website or accessing some content that they can understand what’s going on. It’s not confusing and robust. It means that it’s just a future proof and it can be used across various types of like uh technology. So like web browsers or um screen readers and stuff like that. So it kind of encompasses all that is making it is making your website be accessible to to everyone apart from if they have um impairments or anything like that, disabilities.

[00:33:37.24] spk_1:
We know what the penetration rate is among nonprofit websites. If we use that definition of accessibility. Um sorry,

[00:33:37.91] spk_0:
can you say that again?

[00:33:38.78] spk_1:
Do we know what the penetration rate is? How common are accessible websites in nonprofits using your definition?

[00:34:20.64] spk_0:
Uh, to be, I don’t have a specific number per se, but from just from my research and from browsing different types of websites. non profit websites. It’s not it’s not too common, like it’s something that I think it’s becoming more uh top of mine, but like I see it in proposals or RFP s and stuff like that more and more and more and more often, especially if the organization has like some government funding and the requirements come from that, but it’s not something that’s um commonly found. So

[00:34:32.64] spk_1:
there’s a lot of room for improvement. Yeah, I think so. Okay. Okay. Um can you help us spot potential problems on our own website? Yeah. Good. Sure.

[00:35:04.24] spk_0:
Um Yeah so that’s kind of what uh my talk with and at the conference and I just wanted to give people some some tools and like some understanding of what’s going on their website. So they can they could take them take them home and start working on it and see you know, how can we make our web sites more accessible? It might not be like fully accessible in terms of the various levels but at least getting started. So at the most basic level. So somebody has used enough system technology. Can you can use your website that goes a long way. So. Yeah,

[00:35:14.44] spk_1:
well we’re not gonna be able to do everything overnight. It’s not gonna be like flipping a switch but no we can approach this incrementally and make it more make our site more accessible.

[00:36:00.13] spk_0:
Yeah, exactly. I think that’s the right approach. So I think, to begin with, I wanted to like differentiate between a couple of different issues. So like sometimes these issues are caused by their technical issues, so it might be caused by the templates or in quotation marks, the code. Um, so you might need a developer, uh, to, to help you with it. And other ones are more like low hanging fruit. I think it’s just like things that are related to content. So a lot of the nonprofits use like content management systems to up their websites to create blogs and content. So some of this stuff can be like fixed through just having an understanding of, okay, what are the guidelines that should follow, um, to create more accessible content?

[00:36:15.33] spk_1:
Okay, yeah, So let’s let’s let’s focus on the low hanging fruit, the stuff we can do on our own because our listeners are small and midsize shops. So, you know, they may very well not have an internal developer and hiring an external developer maybe outside their means. So let’s start the stuff we can we can do on our own. Yeah, let’s do that thing. Yeah.

[00:37:06.53] spk_0:
So the first one is it’s pretty basic, but it’s um, it’s page title. So page titles are very important for for orientation. It’s the first thing, like for example, screen reader reads when you’re like when you line on a new page, it’s a good way to differentiate and move between pages and move between pages. So, um, you want to make sure that page titles are unique and they provide um enough information to know what that page is about. Um, another tip that you want to be looking for is that you want to make sure that the most unique and most relevant information comes first. So rather than putting like your organization name first, you want to put it at the end and make sure like whatever the pages about it comes up at the beginning. And this is also some of these practices are also like best practices for the web, but also for like a Ceo and things like that.

[00:37:18.53] spk_1:
Can you explain why does the organization name go at the bottom? Why is that lower?

[00:37:31.73] spk_0:
Because you want to make sure that whatever is the most important part, the most relevant to that page Comes 1st and then your organization comes

[00:37:34.17] spk_1:
after they already know they’re on your organization site. So

[00:37:53.03] spk_0:
yeah. So perhaps if you’re on the home page, you wouldn’t follow that. Like maybe like depends how your SEO strategy is. But if you’re on the about page or or blog article, you want to make sure that the title is at the beginning of the title of the blog or the title of your about page, because that’s kind of what that person is looking for, otherwise it can it can be distracting. Okay,

[00:37:58.53] spk_1:
okay. What else? What

[00:39:35.12] spk_0:
another thing is just headings like this is again pretty basic things, but you want to make sure that when you’re correct, craft and content. Um and a lot of the usability guidelines go hand in hand with like uh just sorry, the accessibility guidelines go hand in hand with usability. Um So when you’re making like, let’s say creating content for the web, you want to make sure that it’s split up and you’re using headings appropriately, so the continent’s more digestible, so it’s easier to understand, but it um and then also if you’re using these headings, you want to make sure that they follow a hierarchy. So typically pages will start with heading one, which is the largest heading. That will be the page title. And as you work down the page, you want to make sure that that hierarchy is maintained. So then that would follow by an H two tag, which again, if you’re using a content management system, you would be able to just select the H two tag is similar to like award uh like a more document and things like that. Um And then a little bit more technical is you want to make sure that when you when you’re selecting these headings that they actually look like headings and on the code side, you want to make sure that there for like their semantically um tagged as heading. So what that means is like in the actual page code is there’s like a little tag, this is H one H two H three, so it needs to be created that way because they’re used as anchors for again, for screen, right? Just to to be able to understand what’s going on. Some people that sounds like they’re sections,

[00:39:39.62] spk_1:
that sounds like it’s just a matter of highlighting the code. Sorry, highlighting the text and tagging it as H one H two H three. Yeah,

[00:39:53.72] spk_0:
exactly. And there’s little tools that you could use, like you don’t have to know how to look at the code. Like there’s plenty of um

[00:39:55.62] spk_1:
yeah, we’re trying to result there’s we’re trying to avoid the code for for right now. Yeah, you can do at our desk if we’re not a developer.

[00:40:02.85] spk_0:
Yeah, you could do this like um as long as you, if you’re using WordPress, you can just select the right appropriate tag and if the theme or or the template you’re using is properly done, then you shouldn’t have any issue.

[00:40:16.41] spk_1:
Okay. Okay. Other low hanging fruit, I’m sure you’ve got a bunch of this bunch of these. Yeah.

[00:41:24.11] spk_0:
Yeah. So another one is uh your link, text a lot of the times, like people will put in something like for more information about my organization click here now um you you want to make sure that you’re when you’re creating links that people understand, like where they’re going, like where that link is taking them and so you want to be able to when you’re creating these links, you want to create, create context rich links. Um And the reason for that is because some some assistive technologies that allowed them to view all the links in one page, just so you land on a page, see all the lengths and they’re listed in order. So say that you have a lot of click here’s like they don’t really make sense out of context, so it doesn’t really help them, it’s confusing. So rather than doing something like that, you want to make sure that the the lengths make sense out of context. So you want to say, learn more about my organization, that’s the entire link. So when somebody is scanning through all the links, it makes sense to them.

[00:41:25.41] spk_1:
All right. So it’s a matter of which words are linked. Yeah,

[00:41:29.37] spk_0:
exactly. And

[00:41:30.00] spk_1:
linking the word here here here.

[00:41:42.41] spk_0:
Exactly, Yeah. And and the same thing goes with buttons, for example, you don’t want to have like buttons that are just generic like submit. You want to make sure that they’re descriptive. So, again, this goes hand in hand with usability. So you want to make sure that the button says for example if it’s a newsletter, subscribe to newsletter so they know what the action they’re taking.

[00:41:58.21] spk_1:
I see. All right. That that explains something that I’ve wondered about why some people have or some I see mostly in journalism too. And now I’m thinking about it you know like five or six words will be highlighted as the link. One of them.

[00:42:27.20] spk_0:
Yeah. And it’s also it’s also but yeah. Okay. And it’s also better for S. C. 02 because you’re that’s kind of uh in essence like google crawls your site through a boat. So and it’s very similar to a screen reader. Read it. So they would they look at the links and it’s like okay, this link is this. Um And then you would you answer that phrase and then that’s how it starts to understand what’s going on on your website and where web pages to navigate to. Yeah.

[00:42:38.70] spk_1:
Rich links. All right. Give us more. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:43:09.30] spk_0:
Yeah. Another one is um text alternatives. I’m sure everyone well not everyone, but this is more familiar. Like all text is the text alternative description of an image. So of course, if you’re if you can’t see and using a screen reader, you can’t see what the image is about. Uh So you can you can provide a description for the image um about what that image is about or the or why that that image is there. So what’s the function? Um If it’s just like a decorative image, you don’t you don’t need to put anything, but if it serves a purpose, it’s important to have that their

[00:43:18.98] spk_1:
description.

[00:43:26.30] spk_0:
So typically when your uploaded a new image on your content management system, you have the option that they will be like a little descriptor field even say I’ll text and then you can just put it in there.

[00:43:33.60] spk_1:
All text. Yeah.

[00:43:55.50] spk_0:
Yeah. It’s it’s it’s very common. It’s just a lot of times you’re like uploading a lot of images and going through like doing a million things. So it’s one of the things that’s easy to miss and it can be hard to also to think about what uh huh what, what to put in there. So I think, yeah,

[00:43:57.40] spk_1:
I guess otherwise the person, the screen reader is just going to see like a file name.

[00:44:02.49] spk_0:
Yeah, exactly.

[00:44:03.68] spk_1:
Yeah. Image seven dot jpeg. Which is Yeah.

[00:44:32.29] spk_0:
Yeah. Or maybe a default value that the program are put in there. Might say default. Yeah. It’s not great. Yeah. And then in the same and lines with the, with the links that we talked about before, a lot of times you use images as links. So you want to make sure that in the all text, your including the destination, if you’re using an image for a link, making sure, okay, where is this link taking me? It’s it’s kind of tied into what we talked about before,

[00:44:40.09] spk_1:
yep. Okay. But the content, content and links. Okay. Others uh yeah.

[00:45:26.89] spk_0:
uh number five would be multimedia like so a podcast for example, um Not available like two people with with hard of hearing or death, um, visuals and videos are not able to people who are blind. So you want to, you want to provide a way to to help these people. Um not only that, it’s just people without, with without disabilities were out, I don’t know, taking the train or something, you want to watch a video, but you don’t want the sound to be on having captions. Um it’s very useful. Um, if you’re learning a new language, like I learn english like having captions, it’s very useful to understand what’s going on. So there’s many uses of why multimedia should have um, should provide an alternative to to consume that. So like a transcript

[00:45:31.14] spk_1:
transcripts, podcasts,

[00:46:42.88] spk_0:
Yeah, a transcript for podcast, for audio and visual content maybe captions. I mean they can be quite elaborate elaborate to to create, but uh, it’s it’s one of the requirements for or guidelines for accessibility. Um, I think these next two are the ones that I talked about before, but um, and they kind of go hand in hand. One is simple content. Like a lot of what I see a lot is just like people just dumping information and information on their websites. And I think it’s important, especially with, for people with cognitive disabilities are really anyone if you’re landing on a page and it’s just like blocks attacks that you have to scan through and trying to understand what’s going on. Like it’s not very usable and again it’s not accessible. So you want to make sure when you’re creating content, you really think about what message you’re trying to convey and you you formatted in a way that’s simple and use a simple language. So Try to aim for an 8th grade level and there’s some tools there that kind of help you with that and help you edit your content so it’s more digestible.

[00:46:46.16] spk_1:
Okay. 8th grade, I’m wondering if I’ve even heard lower than that. Like sixth grade? I’m not sure.

[00:46:59.68] spk_0:
Yeah, I’m not sure. I think I think there is I use a tool called Hemingway editor and I think that one even goes down even further. But yeah, I think if you get to eighth grade and it gives you a check mark.

[00:47:04.17] spk_1:
Okay. Okay Hemingway is that a free resource that listeners can use?

[00:47:08.29] spk_0:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. You just go I think it’s just if you google Hemingway editor, it’s just like a free tool you can use online.

[00:47:18.78] spk_1:
Okay. That’s cool. Thank you. I like I like resources. All right. And you said something related to that?

[00:49:58.87] spk_0:
Yeah, So the same same thing. It’s uh your your layout. We talked about the heading simple content. All go hand in hand layout in terms of like how you’re structuring your page, you want to make sure it’s just simple, straightforward. Um I’m not going to go into more than this because it goes into more like design and things that you really can, you can really change without the help of maybe a designer or developer. So I won’t touch them more on that. But the next one I will touch on is contrast ratio and this is another one that’s quite popular when you think of accessibility, like okay, like it needs to be like the contrast needs to be enough so people can can read what’s the tax? Um Right, so one of the things you want to use is there’s plenty of tools out there if you if you just google contrast checker. Um I think one I have here in front of the web, I am dot org and it’s contrast checker. That’s I think the one I use most of the time. Um you just put in two colours and there’s just like it spits out to two different results, whether it passes or not. Um So that that’s pretty straightforward. It falls within like the template sort of but uh now more and more like with the CMS, you can you can change anything right? Like you can change the colour depending on the flexibility of the template. Um, A big one is images, so like a lot of nonprofits like to use images, um because obviously it’s an easier way to like resonate with your audience. Like you can, you get a better feel of what what they’re about. But the problem is that they like, it’s common to overlay text over there and now you’re giving your staff the ability to upload new images and then change the text. Um and then that becomes really tricky if, if it’s not a nice theme or if the image is not great. Um Now you’re having contrast issues. So like, for example, having like simple overlays, it’s like making sure your image is dark enough, so there’s some contrast um goes a long way, There’s other tips for in terms of design that you can do to overcome that but um like putting like a little background on on the actual text so it stands out more. Um But yeah, I think it’s one of the tips, let’s just be careful and the images you’re picking, making sure there’s enough contrast or and if it’s not adding some sort, if you if you have the skills just adding a bit of like a darker um rectangle overtop, like through whatever image processing software that you use

[00:50:31.26] spk_1:
and you can check this with which the well by the way, I want to just make sure everybody knows CMS is your content management system, just in case everybody questioning that, I’m not gonna put martin in jargon jail because I think CMS is pretty, pretty widely known, but if you get if you get to giardini martin then my jargon jail. Yeah. Okay. Sounds good. But I’m not putting you in there for CMS. I think that’s pretty, it is widely known but just just in case there’s any listeners who don’t know CMS is your content management system and stunning. Absolutely. But be careful because you’ve transgressed, I

[00:50:34.59] spk_0:
don’t know when I go to jail, I don’t have a jail free card. So Yes, that’s right.

[00:50:40.76] spk_1:
Well I I allow um uh parole is not too hard to get.

[00:50:42.66] spk_0:
Okay. That’s good. Good to hear.

[00:50:44.42] spk_1:
What’s the contrast checker again that resource that folks can use.

[00:50:56.06] spk_0:
So it’s web uh it’s web A. I am dot org. Okay. Um and then if you go to the website it’s just under the resources as contrast checker. Yeah.

[00:51:02.36] spk_1:
Okay. And you can just google contrast checker as well.

[00:51:04.73] spk_0:
Yeah, there’s there’s probably like more than 20 different tools but

[00:51:10.96] spk_1:
martin picasa recommended one is web A I. M.

[00:51:14.66] spk_0:
Yeah. Yeah. They have a few other tools. That’s the one that’s

[00:51:17.37] spk_1:
it’s got the blessing. It’s got the yeah, it’s a blessing. All right.

[00:51:21.38] spk_0:
Sure. Let’s go with that. All right.

[00:51:23.36] spk_1:
So does that does that exhaust the ones that folks can do on their own without a developer? Let’s

[00:52:23.35] spk_0:
see. I think the last one is actually um it’s not really an issue but something that’s nice to have is an accessibility statement. And during my uh talk, a couple of people like this um so they’re an excessively statement is just it’s an important it’s kind of think about it like a privacy statement. But for accessibility it shows your users that you you kind of care about accessibility and about them provide some information about the accessibility of the content. What steps are you taking to to do um to make your website accessible? And then you can provide an option to to receive feedback. So if they notice any problems they can they can they can reach out and let you know because issues will come up as you create new content or things get updated, there’ll be regressions and um you kind of have to stay on top of it. Accessibility just periodically do checks to make sure that uh nothing nothing fails. So

[00:52:26.15] spk_1:
yeah, that bleeds into maintaining accessibility over time. We have a few more minutes left. What’s your advice around keeping this up?

[00:53:44.05] spk_0:
Yeah. So I think to to keep this up, but you gotta understand that again. Regressions are common if you’re constantly updating your website and upload in your content. I think having manual checks periodically, so maybe once a month you have a bit of a checklist to go through. Um It’s a good idea. I think sharing some guidelines with your team, it’s it will go a long way rather than be um reactive and unfixed changes as they come up. Like you can make sure the new content that you’re creating meets the guidelines. So just having like a little checklist of. Okay, well, these are the common things that you want, we want to stick with will go a long way and then later, like, or if your budget allows, there’s a bunch of automation tools that will like run tests for you um on your website. So if you’re a bigger site and you have thousands of articles or things like that you might want to look into into that and and and accessibility of is it important to you that it might be worth it? Um So for example, I have here um like from DEak X. So it’s like an extension um There’s also accessibility insights from Microsoft or again the same website I linked to before. Well webbing. Uh they have a wave evaluation tools that you can wait. Let

[00:54:03.84] spk_1:
it goes more at the time. By the way, I have some floor work going on. So if you hear a circular star or some hammering or drilling okay, renovations outside and no worries.

[00:54:05.58] spk_0:
If you’re a crying baby, that’s that’s my baby outside the

[00:54:08.74] spk_1:
daughter. So.

[00:54:09.46] spk_0:
Okay. I

[00:54:15.14] spk_1:
haven’t heard any. All right, okay, great. Wait, let’s tick through those um those those resources again a little slower.

[00:54:18.03] spk_0:
Yeah, sure. Um So there’s acts by deke um Let’s see if I have the I don’t really have. Yeah. So like the website is D E. Q. U. E dot com for slash X.

[00:54:34.04] spk_3:
X X

[00:54:35.37] spk_1:
X

[00:54:36.11] spk_0:
A X E

[00:54:38.02] spk_1:
X C four slash X. Okay.

[00:54:40.94] spk_0:
Then the other one is again the it’s the same website I mentioned before. They have an evaluation tool. So all these are kind of like extensions you install in your browser and then you can click a button and that tells you all these all the issues on your page. So it’s kind of like a handy thing.

[00:54:56.81] spk_1:
Yeah, the other one was what? Web dot A. I am.

[00:55:01.14] spk_0:
Yeah. That’s right.

[00:55:05.64] spk_1:
Okay. And and so all right. So there’s there’s a accessibility checker there as well.

[00:55:08.01] spk_0:
Yeah. And then the last one is by Microsoft is just this one is easy. Its accessibility insights that I owe.

[00:55:24.84] spk_1:
Okay, accessibility insights dot io Yeah. Alright. We like free tools like free totally bring this, bring this uh

[00:55:45.94] spk_0:
and I guess I’ll do one more. Um There’s a Khan Academy has one that is quite friendly. I don’t I mean I like it, it’s just like a little tool that you add to your bookmark and then whenever you go to a website you just click on that and it creates like a little pop up. Um So if you google just con economy and it’s uh it’s T. O. T. A. 11 Y.

[00:55:49.66] spk_1:
Way Con con K. H. A. N.

[00:55:54.82] spk_0:
Yeah akademi

[00:55:56.66] spk_1:
Khan Academy. Yeah.

[00:55:58.49] spk_0:
And then the tool is it’s T. O. T. A. 11 Y.

[00:56:03.53] spk_1:
T. O. T. A. 11 Y.

[00:56:05.67] spk_0:
Yeah so I think I don’t have an actual you’re all for it but it’s said to I use. Okay, so we can find

[00:57:29.43] spk_1:
an account academies. Okay. Yeah. Okay. All right, thank you for those uh free resources. I like those. We’re gonna leave it there, martin. All right, okay. Cool. Well thank you for having me my pleasure. He’s martin to CASA President abound state software. Thank you again martin and thank you for being with 20 martignetti non profit radio coverage of 21. Ntc the 2021 nonprofit technology conference where we are sponsored by turn to communications turn hyphen two dot c O next week. First generation wealth with Esther choi If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by Turn to communications pr and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission turn hyphen two dot C O. Our creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff shows social media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy and this music is by scott stein, yeah, thank you for that. Affirmation Scotty You with me next week for nonprofit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95 go out and be great. Yeah.

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