Visual Impairment

Here are some suggestions for ensuring participants with a visual impairment get the most from your online session:

  • Personality and privacy check - do they want others to know and if so what is their preferred explanation.
  • Test intended feature use in advance with delegate if possible (practice, practice, practice).
  • Advise on whether to focus on presentation/discussion or timeliness of either. Silencing screenreader may be required.
  • Give quality descriptions of what is on the screen as you go along by describing key content on all slides.
  • Build in staging points for facilitator to aurally summarise key threads and invite other contributions
  • A visually impaired person could be given permanent 'open mic' to request clarification at any time.
  • Ask participants which aspects of the session they would prefer to concentrate on. If they have already received the resources this will be easier especially if they are in audio format.
  • Participants may want to access some aspects of the session afterwards. Offer to synthesise the chat pane after the session.
  • If you have a co-facilitator, ask them to periodically use private communication (instant message or phone) to check all is ok.


There are many technologies, both specialist and mainstream, that can help participants who have difficulty seeing.

These sites will give you more information:

Jisc TechDis - People who have difficulty seeing RNIB - Technology
Colour Group
The Colour Group - People who are colour blind Visibone - People who are colour blind

Click here to return to the Planning section