Guide Dogs are offering technology webinars, to help people with sight loss, their friends and families and anyone that may support people with sight loss, gain a wider knowledge of technology and its benefits.
We've also put together some guidance that can help you to register, join and participate with a webinar on the Zoom platform hosted by Guide Dogs.
Webinar dates and times
All webinars are hosted on Zoom, you can find out more about registering and using Zoom below the table.
|Keeping safe using digital & online services||8th June 12pm
||Watch this webinar on-demand|
|Independent living skills using technology||22nd June 2pm||Register|
|Technology and sight loss - how do we do it?||6th July 2pm||Register|
|Reading services for people with sight loss
||20th July 2pm||Register|
|Smart home technology and sight loss||3rd August 2pm||Register|
|Health and Wellbeing - technology for people with sight loss||17th August 2pm||Register|
Registering for a Zoom webinar
Your registration experience may differ if you are using a mobile device, tablet or computer.
- If you wish to join/register for the webinar regardless of what device you are on, select the link to register. As well as the links in the table above, this could also be a link you have received from Guide Dogs in an invite email or from a social media advert advertising the webinar.
- You will then be directed to a registration page which may contain a Guide Dogs branded banner and Guide Dogs logo, where you will find details of the webinar featuring title, description of the event, complete with time and date.
- On the registration page navigate to the form fields. The form to complete asks for your first name, last name, email address and a box to confirm your email address, the confirm feature is to ensure you have entered your email address correctly.
- Complete the form with the required information.
- You may be presented with a CAPTCHA verification box. To learn more about a CAPTCHA please go the bottom of this document.
- If you are using a screen magnifier such as ZoomText you may have issues completing the CAPTCHA verification. If this is the case, please email us and one of the team will register your details manually.
- Once registered a new page will load which states your registration has been approved.
- If on a mobile device this will then just offer the same information you have already read
- If on a computer, the screen will offer you the ability to add to your calendar, this is located on a drop-down menu which reads ‘add to your calendar’ options include, Google Calendar, Outlook and Yahoo.
- Your registration is now complete, you will receive a confirmation email with all the information previously stated. If the webinar is in the future it may be good to keep this in a safe place. Additionally, this email contains a join now link which will direct you to the webinar.
Joining a webinar
There are number of ways you can join a webinar, depending on what device you are using.
- If you have the zoom app pre-installed and registered to your email address, the webinar will pop up a reminder and you can join either from your notification or by using the Zoom app.
- If you do not have zoom pre-installed, do not worry, follow the link in your email to join now, or the calendar invite you may have set up, you will then be directed to a zoom website which will allow you the opportunity to download the zoom installation file.
- Once you have done this and zoom is set up, you will then join the live webinar.
- You will be asked if you want to use your computer audio or telephone audio. If you are happy with the sound quality of your speakers, then use the pre-selected computer audio.
- There is also an option to test your audio to ensure everything is working.
Android or iOS device
- Like using the computer, you select the join now link from your email registration confirmation or by selecting the event from your calendar. You will then go to a website where you will be presented with a link to join live webinar.
- Click the link and you will be direct to the Zoom app if already installed, if it’s not already installed on your device, you will be directed to your phones app store and offered to download the Zoom app.
- Once downloaded you will then be able to join the live webinar.
Joining by telephone maybe easier in some cases, though this means you will not be able to interact with polls and Q&As. If you use the telephone option this call may not be free of charge, this will depend on your tariff.
- In your confirmation email you will see a section which will offer possible numbers to ring
- Once you have dialled the number, you will be asked to input your Webinar ID which can be found in your email confirmation
- You will then need to input a PIN number which is also in your email confirmation, it may be listed as a password (please be aware that entering the password has a limited time and you may need to re-enter).
- If done correctly you will then be added to the live webinar audio feed.
Participating in a webinar
Please note, if you are used to using zoom for meetings, a webinar acts slightly different to what you expect. For example, when you enter, your microphone should be muted, and no video should be displayed. This is because webinars are specifically to interact with large audiences, therefore some of the more common meeting functions are not used in webinars.
The host may offer an opportunity for you to speak, but the host will be able to activate and deactivate your microphone. Do no worry though, you can decline this if you do not wish to speak.
When joining a webinar hosted by Guide Dogs’ the host will endeavour to read all aspects that maybe on screen and ensure good visual descriptions and cues are given. The host may choose to use a variety of tools to help engagement with the attendees.
The following controls will be visible on the screen.
- Audio Settings (only visible if the host hasn't granted you permission to talk)
- Unmute/Mute: If the host gives you permission, you can unmute and talk during the webinar.
- Chat: Opens an in-meeting chat, allowing you to send chat messages to the host, panelists, and attendees.
- Raise Hand: Raise your hand in the webinar to indicate that you need something from the host. The host may instruct you on how they plan to use this.
- Question & Answer: Opens the Q&A window, allowing you to ask questions to the host and panelists. They can either reply back to you via text in the Q&A window or answer your question live.
Hosts use polls to ask questions and help gauge responses from the audience.
When a poll is initiated a pop up will appear on the screen presenting the questions and answers.
Notes for screen Reader users on desktop
- If using a screen reader, focus will automatically land take focus on the poll title.
- Tab once to hear the question.
- Tab a second time to navigate to the answer choices.
- Use arrow keys to navigate through the choices.
- Navigate to “submit” button.
We would recommend that Polls only have one question per poll.
If on the off chance, a poll has more than one question you may find your screen reader focus does not shift properly to the next question. This can be resolved by navigating back up the form once you have selected next.
Polls results can be shared after participants have taken the poll and this is also accessible, though we did note some screen readers did not read the percentages. This will be addressed by your host and they will read these visual elements.
Polls are also accessible if using the Zoom mobile app.
The Q&A tool is to help the audience interact and ask questions.
If the host has turned this tool on it can be accessed throughout the webinar, though if you are using a screen reader, notifications of the tool may be distracting from the content as you are notified of people typing.
To access the Q&A tool, navigate to the bottom of your screen and locate Q&A.
The host may ask for questions at specific times to make things easier for people using screen reader technologies.
There are some additional features which work well to help promote questions and contribute to conversations.
Upvoting is a way to identify good questions or comments.
If you see a question or comment your like or agree with you can use the “upvote” button which resembles a “thumbs up”. The icon is to the right of a comment.
The host will indicate if the feature is enabled in your webinar.
If the comment feature is turned on in Q&A each attendee can comment on any attendee’s question or comment thus allowing conversation and collaboration. This is also accessible. The comment button if switched on is below the upvote button on the right-hand side. Simply activate the button to open an editable text field.
You can find further information on settings and controls here.
Accessibility of CAPTCHA
A CAPTCHA stands for "completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart" this process using algorithms to identify spammers or robots that may try to register on online forms. This helps to tell humans apart from machines.
As clever and as useful as they are, they are not always completely accessible. But here are a few tips on getting around a CAPTCHA using a screen reader:
- Tab to "I'm Not A Robot" check box and select this.
- A CAPTCHA will appear in the middle of the screen.
- Navigate to "get an audio challenge button" Select this. (Focus may land on this automatically).
- Focus will land on a button that announces "Press PLAY and enter the words you hear Press CTRL to play again button"
- Select this to hear the CAPTCHA.
- Tab to the edit box and enter your response.
- Tab to the "Verify" button.
- If accepted, focus will move back to the Join A Meeting Page.
Get in touch
If you need further support, please contact Guide Dogs Technology Services team