We want to make Yearly Meeting an accessible and inclusive event. You can help us by letting us know your needs.
These are some of the things we are doing to support wider access to Yearly Meeting.
Where you have informed us of an access need in advance, we will notify the facilitators of events you are attending so that they are aware of your needs. We will also have an identified accessibility host in meetings we organise who can be contacted via the in-meeting chat, or, where chat is not accessible to you, by emailing the Yearly Meeting Help Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our accessibility statement is available to download as a PDF or is in the sections below. We have provided guidance to all facilitators on how to improve the accessibility of their events and the minimum expectations.
For those with visual impairment
- We have asked all facilitators to ensure they describe visual elements orally, for those who cannot see these. We have tried to ensure good colour contrast on our website, the online Sched planner and in our documents.
- We will also make documents available in a choice of formats where this is needed for access reasons (e.g. Word, large print, 'accessible' PDF).
- See also support for screen reader users.
Support for screen reader users
- Unfortunately, we are not able to make the online Yearly Meeting Planner accessible to screen readers. If you use a screen reader we will provide details in an alternative format and assist you with your booking. There is space on the registration form to inform us that you use a screen reader. We will get in touch with you if you let us know this is the case. We will send you a programme in a screen reader accessible format and can book you for events over the phone, or if you provide a list of your chosen events by email. We will then send out a list of events and details of how to access them.
- In Yearly Meeting sessions and preparatory sessions, we will limit chat to communication with the hosts only, so as not to distract screen reader users. Where we know a screen reader user is attending an event, we will notify the host of this so that they can consider doing likewise.
For those with hearing impairment
- See also speech to text transcription (captions). Where possible we will get scheduled speakers to use a headset with a built-in microphone to reduce background noise and improve sound quality. We will ask people to stay muted unless they are speaking and remind people to speak clearly, without rushing so that you have time to take in what they say and so to assist the captioner.
Speech to text transcription (captions)
- Our meetings will be held jointly online, using zoom, and in-person. Speech to text is available at every Yearly Meeting session. This can be viewed via the closed caption button in zoom or via a standalone link called StreamText. Each one has some pros and cons. Participants will be able to use either option, or switch between them.
- We will provide speech to text transcription in all Yearly Meeting events we organise and are asking those running fringe events to do the same.
- All Yearly Meeting Sessions and the regular lectures (Swarthmore, Salter, and Gorman) will be captioned by professional captioners. People will have the option to use either the captions in Zoom, or via a stand alone link called StreamText. Each one has some pros and cons. You will be able to use either option.
- You may prefer captions in Zoom because the text is in the same window as the meeting; however it has a delay and is always at the bottom of the screen. StreamText is independent of Zoom, visually customisable (e.g. size and colour of text) and the there is less delay. You will be able to switch between these options if you choose.
- We will make a link to StreamText available in all sessions where this is provided, and in the event description in the YMG Planner.
- For any other events organised by Britain Yearly Meeting, we will do the following. If you have tell us you use captions (you can do this at registration or send us an email), we will provide professional captions you prebook for. For anything else, the Zoom auto-captions will be made available.
- For events not organised by Britain Yearly Meeting (the Fringe), we have asked all organisers to make auto-captions available as a minimum.
- All documents will be made available as home printable PDFs on the Yearly Meeting website. We do not have the capacity to print documents for everyone. If you need documents in an alternative format, including printed documents (for access reasons) we will provide this for you. You will be able to let us know your needs at the time of booking.
- We recognise that spending long periods of time in online meetings can be challenging. We have therefore structured the programme to allow for breaks between sessions. No event organised by Britain Yearly Meeting will last longer than 90 minutes. Sessions longer than 70 minutes will have a short break in the middle. The start and end time of all events and sessions is stated in the YMG Planner. We will stick to the times stated.
Use of camera
- One of the reasons we are using Zoom is because it allows us to see each other and thus more closely replicates the experience of sitting together in person. However we recognise that sometimes keeping one's camera on all the time can be a challenge. We just ask that you ensure your full name and Quaker worshiping group is noted in your screen name. There is also the option to join Yearly Meeting Sessions through the livestream in the 'overflow room', or by following the StreamText feed (see speech to text transcription). This will eliminate any use of your camera and microphone, though you will not be able to give vocal ministry.
- We encourage everyone to only participate in as much of YMG is they can comfortably manage. You are not required to attend all Yearly Meeting sessions.
Help with technology (e.g. Zoom, the YM planner)
- We are aware that some people are less experienced at using online services and may find this challenging. We hope that for many people, there will be people local to you (e.g., in your Meeting) who will be able to help you. However, we recognise that some people will need additional support. For those unable to get technical help locally, we will run online training sessions in advance of Yearly Meeting. We will also provide technical support via the Yearly Meeting Help Desk, both in advance of YMG and during YMG.
Setting up your device
- AbilityNet gives instructions on setting up your technology to suit your needs https://mcmw.abilitynet.org.uk/
Accessibility at Fringe events
- We want all parts of Yearly Meeting to be widely accessible. Guidance for facilitators is available to all those running an event so that they are aware of things they need to do to improve the accessibility of their event.