Welcome! The online Nebula Conference has a few accessibility features. These include:
- Automatic closed captioning for all panels and the Nebula Awards ceremony.
- Audio-only engagement.
- Low sensory breakout rooms in the Party Suite, our virtual Zoom lounge.
- Recordings of panels and presentations, with closed-captioning, for review at the participant’s leisure.
- Social opportunities that do not require cameras, microphones, or speakers.
In this document, we cover:
- Turning captions on and off for events.sfwa.org, Zoom and YouTube.
- How to add alt-text for photos and best practices.
- How to access panels after the event and how long they will be available.
- Quiet/low sensory virtual rooms and where to find them.
- How to contact us for help and feedback.
This is an evolving document meant to reflect the needs and questions from the community.
If you are watching the panels on events.sfwa.org, there is an option to turn on automatic captioning for yourself.
This option is located at the bottom right of the video player (CC).
Zoom comes with an automated Closed Captioning system that has to be turned on by the Host. If you enter the room and it has not been turned on, the bottom of your screen will look like this:
Once the Host has activated the Closed Captioning system, an additional button will appear on your screen:
You can now click on the CC (Show Captions) button and the captions will start showing on your screen in the bottom middle. If this button is not there and you need the captions active, send a gentle reminder to ask the Flight Crew to activate it. Once this is done, you can listen to people in the room or refer to the captions to keep track of the conversations.
There is also a way to make the captions automatically show on your screen when the Host turns the captions on. To do that you will need to access the Accessibility menu that is in a pop up. It can be accessed by clicking on the upturned carrot above Show Captions and then clicking on Caption Settings from the new menu:
If the Closed Captioning button is not there and you would like to set it up for future use, you can click on the upturned carrots next to the mic or camera and in those new menus, click on the Audio Settings and Video Settings respectively. This will bring up a popup menu in the next step,
but you will need to click on the Accessibility option on the bottom left. This will bring up a pop-up menu:
In the middle of that pop up is the option Always Show Captions, click on the box next to it. Any time that the Host enables the use of Closed Captions, you will automatically start seeing Closed Captions on your screen. Any time that the Host enables the use of Closed Captions, you will automatically start seeing Closed Captions on your screen.
Any time in the future that a Host enables the use of Closed Captions, you will automatically start seeing Closed Captions on your screen.
This Setting menu has other options that you might find useful as well. The top of the pop-up menu has options that allow you to change size and color of the captions, useful if the white and yellow bothers your eyes:
Scrolling down will bring you to the Screen Reader Alerts options. These alerts are the notifications that pop up during a Zoom meeting. If they prove a distraction, this is where they can be turned off.
Once you have chosen what options work best for your needs you can X out of the menu to return to the ongoing meeting.
If you are watching the award ceremony on YouTube, here is a video on the exact location and how to change the subtitle language:
ADDING ALT-TEXT FOR PHOTOS
Adding alt-text for images posted on Twitter and websites help low-visibility users and/or users with sensory processing issues with photos online. This is also helpful when a tweet or website does not load properly.
There are two ways to do this on Twitter. When tweeting from a Twitter’s website:
- Create new tweet and add the picture.
- Click “Add description” from the below the picture.
- Enter description text and hit “Save”.
- Publish tweet.
When using Twitter’s mobile app:
- Create new tweet and add picture.
- Tap “+ALT” on the bottom right corner of the picture.
- Add description text and hit “Save”.
- Publish tweet.
Some good practices for writing good alt text:
- Be short and specific.
- Don’t include “Image of” or “Picture of”.
- Don’t repeat yourself.
- Include any text that is in the image, i.e., writing on T-shirts or banners.
At the bottom of this article there are some examples of good and bad alt texts.
HOW TO ACCESS PANELS AFTER THE CONFERENCE
We realize that not all members will be able to attend all the panels because of health, family demands, time zones, travel, costs, etc. However, the panels will be recorded and accessible to all conference members through April 2024. Simply return to this events.sfwa.org website and find the panel you want in the archive to view. Panels that were not streamed from Anaheim will be captured via audio-only recording and uploaded to the site as well. These recordings will include Closed Captions.
QUIET/LOW SENSORY VIRTUAL ROOMS
The McKinley Suite, our virtual Zoom lounge, features a low-sensory room, requiring that mics and cameras be turned off to interact. Attendees are also welcome to join conversations on multiple channels throughout the Nebula conference Discord, most of which will be chat-based.
If you have accessibility questions or concerns at any point during the conference, please reach out to email the Events Team (firstname.lastname@example.org).