Accessibility at IMC 2021

We are committed to ensuring all delegates can fully participate in IMC events and sessions.

Please let us know if you have any specific requirements, for example, if you require information in alternative formats, such as Braille or large print, or if you have any other access needs. We will do our best to meet your requests. It would be helpful to know about any such requirements before 11 May 2021.

As with the in-person IMC, we will ask about your accessibility needs via our confidential online registration form and we will follow up personally with any delegate who indicates they have access needs.

If you need to see the speaker’s face in order to lip read and the speaker chooses to share their screen, you can ‘Pin’ any speaker to your screen both via the web interface and Zoom app.

Guidance for speakers on how to ensure your presentation is accessibile for all can be found here.

Keynote Lectures

Keynote lectures will be recorded and made available after the IMC with automatic closed captioning available. Where a Keynote lecturer elects to pre-record their paper, and provides the recording of their paper to the IMC in advance, we will ensure captioned versions of these are available during the IMC.

Academic Sessions

We undertook a thorough survey of various large event platforms in preparation for IMC 2021 prior to choosing Pathable. At that time, we were unable to find a platform that offered both integrated closed captioning and the other features required for an event of this scale. This was due to technical limitations within the API integration that connects the virtual event platform with the video conferencing system.

However, following a policy change at Zoom which has led them to enable automatic closed captioning on paid-for accounts, Pathable have recently confirmed to us that automatic closed captioning will be available for all IMC 2021 sessions. To turn on the automatic captioning, you simply enable it from the menu bar within the Zoom app.

At present, the API integration issue prevents captions being included on recordings of sessions. We are continuing to work with Pathable to see if we can identify a solution that will ensure we can provide captions or transcripts of session recordings. In the meantime, attendees who require captioned recordings should contact us in order to access Otter, as set out below.

We understand and appreciate that machine-generated captioning may not be a perfect solution, especially for those sessions with substantial amounts of specialist vocabulary. Therefore, we continue to encourage all speakers to utilise PowerPoint’s integrated real-time automated captioning feature and to follow our guidance for ensuring your presentation is accessible for all.

Accessing Otter

We recognise that the above solutions may not suit every speaker or attendee, and that a wide variety of free-to-use or subscription-based speech-to-text systems are now available for mobile devices. Among them is Otter (available on GooglePlay & Apple Store). This app is free to download and has a number of useful features, though time limits do apply for non-premium customers.

Delegates who are deaf, have a hearing impairment, or who require access to Otter for some other accessibility-related reason are entitled to a registration discount to cover the cost of 1 month’s subscription to Otter. To access this discount, please email imc@leeds.ac.uk prior to beginning your registration in order to receive a discount code to apply to your registration. The discount will be fixed at the cost of 1 month’s subscription to Otter, but you can use this towards whatever system assists you best.

If you have concerns about your ability to participate fully in IMC as a deaf/hard of hearing person, please get in touch and we will endeavour to support you in any way we can. So that we can provide the best support we can, we would be grateful if you could contact us prior to registering by emailing imc@leeds.ac.uk with ‘Access Request’ in the subject line.

Other IMC Activities (Events, Excursions, and Fringe Events)

Delegates with accessibility needs wishing to attend events, workshops, or excursions hosted on by the IMC on Pathable should refer to the guidance above for academic sessions.

Fringe events will be hosted by individual delegates or external organisations and hosted on their own video conferencing systems. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure their activities are accessible for all. If you have concerns about attending a fringe event as someone with accessibility needs, please contact the relevant organiser directly.

Volunteer to Provide Live Captions

The IMC will feature over 800 hours of presentations and, regrettably, we do not have the technical or subject-specific expertise or budget available to offer human-led captioning for such a large volume of specialist academic content.

However, all IMC academic sessions will be held via Pathable’s Zoom integration, which has the facility for a hearing person to provide captions during live sessions which can then be viewed by hard of hearing/deaf attendees in place of the AI-generated captions service. If you are a hearing person who wishes to assist with providing closed captions during live sessions which you attend, please let us know by emailing imc@leeds.ac.uk.

 

If you have any concerns about accessing IMC 2021 as a deaf/hard of hearing person, or have any other accessibility needs, do not hesitate to get in touch with the IMC team (imc@leeds.ac.uk) at your earliest convenience.