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Please use a microphone for accessibility

A hand holding a microphone in front of background with bokeh.

Attending various events without a microphone has been a significant challenge for me as a deaf person. It’s critical to ensure accessibility at events for everyone.

Here are examples from three events I attended:

First Event:

Despite my request, the organizer refused to use a microphone, insisting I could just sit in front. Additionally, the WiFi didn’t work. I needed WiFi for a speech-to-text app on my phone. Frustrated, I left the event.

Second Event:

The WiFi worked well, and I was sitting in front, but the speaker didn’t use a microphone. My app transcribed the text, but it didn’t work all the time due to the lack of a microphone. During the Q&A, I could barely hear the mumbling audience, and my app couldn’t transcribe them at all. Even the speaker struggled.

Third Event:

The WiFi worked, and the organizer used a microphone in a room that was larger than the first and second events. I planned to stand closer to the speaker, but he spoke so clearly through the microphone that I could hear him from the back, and my app could transcribe everything he said.

It is important to note that apps do not fully solve accessibility issues, as they are not 100% accurate and have some drawbacks (explained in a link at the end of this post).

📝 Advice:

For the sake of accessibility, please use a microphone ALL the time, regardless of the room size. Always use a microphone when speaking in front of an audience and pass it to the audience during Q&A.

🎤 Microphones are necessary for accessibility because:

– They help people who are hard of hearing and rely on hearing devices.

– They support people who are deaf and use speech-to-text apps.

– They assist people with good hearing who need to be able to hear from anywhere in the room.

Please ensure that your events are inclusive and accessible for everyone.

Learn more about the struggles of speech-to-text apps and deaf people.

Additionally, there are many more elements to consider for event accessibility beyond just using a microphone.

Does your business have more questions or need advice? Contact us.

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