OCAD University Open Research Repository

Supporting Communication Accessibility and Inclusion in Online Meetings for Persons with Complex Communication Access Needs

Nnagbo, Nneka (2022) Supporting Communication Accessibility and Inclusion in Online Meetings for Persons with Complex Communication Access Needs. [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: Nnagbo, Nneka

Communication is said to be one of the greatest predictors of quality of life and life expectancy. One’s ability to effectively communicate largely impacts their well-being, interpersonal relationships, and participation in society. The global transition to online meetings resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, clarified that the ways we meet online and stay connected with our friends, families, and communities, are fundamentally concerned with communication. Therefore, ensuring access to communication when meeting online is more important than ever. Whether online or in-person, interactions can be hard for people with disabilities that affect their communication. Despite the advancement of communication disability rights and web accessibility, what remains unknown are the impacts of online meetings on communication access for persons with complex communication access needs (CCAN)—those with communication disabilities who may or may not use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Further complicating this gap is the limited availability of guidance and strategies for supporting CCAN throughout the process of designing, organizing, and running online meetings. These gaps revealed an important design opportunity and area for consideration for the study.

This community-based, participatory research study explores how online sessions can be designed to support complex communication access needs. The use of a community-led co-design approach resulted in a deeper understanding of the individual communication accessibility requirements, barriers, and lived experiences of persons who use AAC, within the online meeting context. Participants (‘co-designers’) designed and took part in collaborative design sessions aimed at developing ideas for supporting communication access and inclusion throughout the process of meeting online. Through cross-community collaboration, we co-designed an open-source communication access toolkit for online meetings. The toolkit includes accessibility guidelines with a protocol for holding accessible and inclusive online sessions; suggested accessibility features and plugins for meeting platforms; and a template for a collaborative participant notebook. The design outcomes provide guidance to the general population on how we might ensure that online meetings of all forms are inclusive and accessible for diverse and complex communicators, as we all have a right to communicate with dignity in ways where we understand and are understood.

Date: 20 December 2022
Uncontrolled Keywords: communication access; inclusive design; online meetings; online meeting context; communication disabilities; complex communication access needs; augmentative and alternative communication; AAC; communication access rights; ICT accessibility; community-led co-design; meeting design
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Inclusive Design
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2023 20:04
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2023 18:47
URI: https://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/3960

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