Making word clouds and polling fully accessible to all meeting attendees

If you want to be perceived as inclusive, you have to BE inclusive. Otherwise, your words and actions are merely performative.

Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC

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Wordcloud with “Teamwork” in the center other words include successful, mission, partner, cooperation, communication, effort, vision, brainstorming, and unity

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Let’s face it; Zoom meetings can be tedious. An entire business sector has popped up, focusing on making presentations more interactive by getting real-time feedback from the participants. Mentimeter is one such tool. That is the tool I am most familiar with, so I will use it as an example throughout this article because I have used these steps with Mentimeter, and I know they work. You could likely substitute a different polling or word cloud tool and use the same steps to make it more accessible.

There are three parts to any polling tool where accessibility matters:

  • The authoring interface, where the individual sets up the poll.
  • The voting interface, where participants cast their vote.
  • The results interface, where voting results are displayed.

Look at the Mentimeter ACR/VPAT

Mentimeter has published an ACR/VPAT. While they’ve improved the authoring interface accessibility, there are still several locations where Mentimeter highlights that authors can make inaccessible choices that impact the voters, mainly in color and image choices.

TL;DR: It’s up to the meeting host to use Mentimeter in a way that doesn’t exclude audience members.

So how do you do that?

Don’t make inaccessible color choices.

Lack of color contrast is the most critical concern for color accessibility.

Don’t use:

  • Pastels
  • Grey at less than 60 % saturation

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Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC

LinkedIn Top Voice for Social Impact 2022. UX Collective Author of the Year 2020. Disability Inclusion SME. Sr Staff Accessibility Architect @ VMware.