What are some considerations when planning for an accessible, virtual commencement for deaf participants?

If your school is planning a virtual graduation ceremony, be sure to plan for communication access for all deaf participants (graduates, alumni, families and other viewers). Access considerations for deaf participants should include:

Sign Language Interpreters: When streaming events, consider having the interpreter in a picture-in-picture format or using a split screen.

Speech-to-Text Services: These services, provided by a professionally trained provider, can be streamed on top of live video feeds or through a separate link to access real-time captions. Schools have been putting this into practice. Here are some strategies on how to stream speech-to-text services.

Interpreting & Speech-to-Text Services: It is possible to provide both interpreting and speech-to-text at the same time in a live broadcast. This way, you reach a large, diverse audience!

Captioned media: Any pre-recorded media included with the commencement ceremony must include quality captions (not auto-captions).

It is also important for schools to advertise in advance that the ceremony will be broadcasted with interpreting and/or real-time captions. Advertise contact information where additional requests can be made.

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Updated on July 29, 2022

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