Meeting Etiquette – Preparation

Meeting preparation is all about ensuring the physical and communication needs of all attendees are met.  This includes preparation of resources required for the meeting.   The following points need to be considered and implemented if necessary:

Image of a hand reaching out with the words Assistive Technology
  1. Ensure that all presenters are aware of HR policy and ensure that all documents that they provide have been designed to be accessible.
  2. Physical Location:
    • Check the location of the meeting with the needs of the attendees in mind.
      • Is there sufficient space for people to navigate easily. 
      • Consider  those who use mobility aids such as wheelchairs, canes, crutches and people with service dogs?
      • Is there sufficient space for assistance dogs to be able to lie down?
      • Where are the nearest accessible carparks?
      • What public transport is close to the location and is it accessible?
      • Are the doorways wide?
      • Where are the accessible toilets?
      • Where are toileting areas for assistance dogs?
      • Is the location accessible using ramps and lifts?
      • Ensure all paths and other walking areas are free from barriers.  These barriers could include anything from loose electric cables to  rocks or loose gravel.  Also consider broken footpaths that may make it difficult for wheelchair use.
  3. Seating arrangements:
    •  Special consideration may be needed for those that lip read. That is, chairs set aside close to speakers and in direct line with the speakers for those that lip read may be necessary. Seating that aligns with the requirements of people with vision  impairment.  That  is, some people may only have sight on their right side so will sit in a spot that ensures that they can successfully participate in the meeting.
    • Acoustics considerations: 
      • Microphones if needed to ensure that all can hear what is being said
      • Limit background noise
      • Space for an interpreter is available if needed. Test all speakers to ensure that all are working correctly.
      • Technology: Ensure that there are adequate power points to accommodate all devices and that they are all working.  Ensure that there is sufficient desk space as well. 
  4. On-line Meetings Checks:
    • Check the settings on the host machine for the following:
      • Captions are turned on at the start of the meeting.
      • Recording of the meeting is available for those who require it.
      • If people with hearing impairment are coming ensure that they know how to use the gallery view so that the speaker is always highlighted.  That is, if using Zoom the gallery view is always set to the speaker being enlarged.  This will, at times, assist with those who use lip reading techniques.
  5. Documents
    • All documents need to be made accessible using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1  Level AA.
    • If doing presentations, ask  is a PowerPoint necessary?  If it is, ensure that PowerPoint presentations are accessible and distributed to those people with a vision impairment 2days before the meeting at a minimum.  Ensure that the presentation is also done in text format and is accessible  using Microsoft Word documents. All documents required for the meeting should be distributed 2 days minimum, before the meeting.
    • When the invite is sent out also ensure that maps and written directions are sent to all attendees to ensure that they can find the location easily.
  6. Contact Person: a person or a number of people need to be designated as contact people for the meeting.  They should be in contact with all attendees to assist with finding the location on the day.  This could include meeting the attendee at a designated location and guiding them to the meeting.
  7. Catering: Ensure that those with dietary needs are catered for when ordering food and drinks.