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Contact with any questions or concerns related to the conference's accessibility.

Live Captioning

During the general conference, Code4Lib 2021 will feature 2020 Captioning for live captioning. In order to improve the quality of this service, we ask everyone to speak slowly and clearly so the Captioning service is able to accurately capture what you say. Sessions which were recorded before the conference will include captions as well.
Note: Do not use any built-in captioning options (such as Google Slides captioning or Microsoft Translator) while recording your presentation, as it will interfere with the automated captioning the conference will be using.

Conference Platform Accessibility

Code4Lib 2021 will be using Whova as the conference platform. In general, the platform is accessible, but it is missing landmarks and headers on pages. You can install a userscript in your browser (Tampermonkey for Chrome or Greasemonkey for Firefox) that will create landmarks and headers. The userscript is not available for Safari. For assistance, contact

Accessibility Instructions for Presenters

All presenters should please review these accessibility requirements and presentation logistics. Make note of the three action items for your talk(s).

  • Action 1: Submit Video Recording and Slides Early

    Code4Lib 2021 will feature Zoom’s AI captioning during the conference. In order to improve the quality of this service, we ask presenters to speak slowly and clearly so the AI Captioning service is able to accurately capture what you say. Also, upload the slides to the Code4Lib 2021 repository so that the post-event video editors can use them as reference and improve the quality of the final video.

  • Action 2: Design an Accessible Presentation

    Presenters are encouraged to use the following guidelines to ensure that their presentations are visually accessible to attendees in an online environment. More detailed information on creating accessible online presentations is available from the Digital Library Federation. You can also view these guidelines in action on the Google Slides Sample Presentation, which uses the conference template.

    Basic Slide Design
    • Use an easy-to-read font. Suggested fonts include: Helvetica and its clones (Arial, Calibri, etc.), Gill Sans, Comic Sans (seriously!), Verdana, Franklin Gothic, Rockwell, Tahoma, Lucida, and Times New Roman.
    • Try to minimize the amount of text on each slide. Use bullet points instead of full paragraphs. Limit your slides to 1 main idea and 3 supporting ideas per slide.
    • Aim for a font size of 20-30 point. Generally, do not go below 24-point for slide content.
    • Choose text and background colors that have good contrast and are easy to read, such as black/white, white/dark blue, yellow/black, off-white/black. You can use a contrast checker to check for good contrast, or the Viz Palette Designer to select color palettes.
    • Leave space at the bottom of the slides for the live captioning to appear (usually about ¼ the overall size of the slide). There should be no important text in this area.
    • If you will have your camera on during your slides, it’s suggested that you leave a corner of your slides free of important text, so that your presenter image doesn’t cover up anything.
    • Use the C4L 2021 Template to produce an accessible slide presentation (Microsoft PowerPoint), which already incorporates all the above issues, including space for live captioning and the camera view.
    Graphs and Charts
    • Use the built-in options for creating charts and graphs instead of using an image or screencap, so that a person using assistive technology can access the data.
    • For color blindness considerations, add patterns or labels in graphs and charts, or use the Viz Palette Designer to select sight-friendly color palettes.
    • Avoid blinking text and animations that endlessly repeat.
    • If your presentation features lots of animations, videos, etc., please include a warning at the start of your talk. This is especially needed if any contain lots of flicker.
    • Be mindful of progressing quickly back and forth through slides, to reduce flicker.
    • If a video contains sound or dialogue, please try to use a version with captioning.
    • Include Alt text for all images in the slides you upload to the repository. WebAIM has useful information about alt text and how to write it.
    • While presenting, describe any images, and give a descriptive introduction for a video.
    Sharing Slides
    • Participants are encouraged to share their slides. If placed on the web, please include a short link in your opening slides for attendees to view on their personal machines.
    • Include speaker notes with your files if the file format allows. In particular, describe any images, tables, charts, etc. in the notes.
    • It’s easier to make your original presentation slides accessible than it is to produce an accessible PDF of your slides. Please see PowerPoint and KeyNote accessibility advice, as well as Google Slides accessibility pages.
    Supplemental Materials
    • Use the built-in accessibility checker for any supplemental materials you want to include with your presentation.
    • When possible, do not use PDF. Make materials available in their original format (Word, txt, Excel, etc.) to ensure their accessibility.

  • Action 3: Be inclusive in your presentation Please follow the Code of Conduct during any interaction with others at the conference.
    • If your presentation is interactive, tell the audience at the start what you will be doing (“I will ask you to write down some thoughts multiple times during the presentation, so please get a pen and paper now,” or “I’ll give you 1 minute to fill out this poll”), and actually give them enough time to complete the work.
    • Presenters should use an external unidirectional microphone or headset with mic. This will cut down on external noises (people talking, computer fan noises, etc.) and make it easier for live captioning. Make sure the mic is directly in front of your mouth to ensure the best audio capture.
    • Please speak slowly and clearly, like a newscaster, to make it easier for the AI captioning (and audience) to understand you.
    • If you are answering questions from the chat, read the question out loud and credit the person asking it (unless you are taking anonymous questions).
    • If you are using acronyms or jargon, please state the full name, followed by the acronym spelling (for example, “American Broadcasting Company, ABC”) or definition the first time you reference it. You can also explain them in your speaker notes or on the slides of the presentation to make it clear to the audience as well. (When in doubt, assume it’s jargon!)
    • Describe images to the audience as you present, and give a brief description of a video before you play it if it has no captions.
    • Instead of asking your audience to read a slide, read it aloud to them instead (the audience may have a very small screen, or may not be able to see the slides).
    • Read aloud any URLs to the audience. Use a URL shortener like tinyurl or to make it easier.
    • If you are using a script, share it with the live captioner prior to your presentation.
    • If you are using a script, please submit the script with the recording so it can be shared with the audience.

Accessibility Instructions for Attendees

  • If you plan on speaking during the conference, make sure you have a good quality microphone or a headset with a microphone to ensure that the live captioner and the speakers can hear and understand you. Any live events (except the breakout sessions) will be live captioned.
  • Keep your microphone and camera off unless you are asked to unmute either.
  • Speak slowly and clearly for the automated captioning.


Contact with any questions or concerns related to the conference's accessibility.