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Making online and hybrid meetings more accessible

At Hull York Medical School we promote a culture of diversity, respect and aspiration, and empower everyone to reach their potential. This guide explains how to help make online or hybrid meetings accessible to everyone, which aligns with our ‘Everyone counts’ core  value.

Meeting setup

Think about the purpose of the meeting and how best this meeting can be facilitated: hybrid or online. If the meeting is hybrid, make sure the remote participants get the full experience of the meeting too.

If you are the organiser of the meeting, ask participants whether they have any accessibility needs. This can be accommodated in the event registration form for example. This will help you to anticipate accessibility needs and accommodate them. Remember to ask and accommodate any physical accessibility needs in a hybrid meeting.

Consider the length of the meeting. If the meeting is longer than say an hour, consider including a movement/comfort break as appropriate.

Some colleagues may have back to back meetings. So could you schedule the meeting for 55mins rather than the full hour to help them get to their next meeting on time?


Having a set agenda sent to attendees well in advance and sticking to this helps everyone to make the most of the meeting, especially for people with mental health difficulties and ADHD.


If you can provide the resources (for example, slides or documents) relevant to the meeting in advance, it will help people to prepare in advance.

Make sure you create your resources with digital accessibility in mind. Visit the University of York – Creating accessible content guide to learn more about creating accessible content.

Live captions

In Microsoft Teams meeting, you can use the live captions from the meeting window.

To enable Live captions go to meeting controls and select More options … > Language and speech > Turn on live captions

To learn more about enabling live captions visit Use live captions in a Teams meeting

Speaking clearly, using a good quality microphone (headset) and having quiet background will help the accuracy of live captions.

Sufficient lighting

When you are speaking in an online meeting, it is helpful if you can share your video. If there is sufficient lighting, people who are hard of hearing or deaf may be able to lip read.


Using a good microphone and a headset will make it easier for people to hear you filtering out any background noise. This will also help the accuracy of captions.

Keep your microphone on mute when you are not speaking and remember to unmute when you speak.

Recordings and transcripts

Recording meetings and/or creating transcripts will help colleagues who could not attend to later watch the recording. Also,  if there were a lot going on in the meeting and it was not possible to take notes having a recording will help.

Meeting etiquette

  • Communicate the guidelines for meetings to attendees, e.g., do cameras need to be
    on at all times, or just the Convener’s/Presenter’s? Should attendees be on mute
    when not talking? Will the Convener call on each person when it is their specific turn
    to speak? Decide in advance what you think is best for the meeting and then liaise
    with attendees for their input as well
  • At the start of meetings, if necessary, allow everyone a chance to introduce
    themselves and state their name and pronouns (should they wish to)
  • Encourage attendees to use the ‘raise hand’ feature if they wish to speak

Further Guidance

For more detailed information, please refer to the University of York Digital Accessibility Guidance


Updated on 17/01/2024

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