Best Practices for Participating in Inclusive Workshops

Your facilitator will be following a number of best practices. These notes are based on your involvement in the workshop.

Review the agenda, resources, and all other workshop materials ahead of time. This sets the stage for everyone to have access to the same information, and process it when they need to.

Every working session will be started with introductions that include names and pronouns.

Ground rules on collaboration features. It will be established in the beginning of each working session how the group wants to use chat channels, breakout rooms, and when is the best time to ask questions of a speaker. For example:

  • Do you want to use the “raise hand” feature in your meeting platform as a queue, or does that make other people feel interrupted?
  • What multi-sensory and platform features will facilitators use to signal to a speaker that their allotted time is complete?
  • What multi-sensory cues can the participants use for turn taking?
  • Does everyone understand how to mute their mic when they are not speaking?
  • Where and how should people respond to questions?

Remember your background and allow others their privacy. Virtual backgrounds can be distracting or bandwidth intensive. It’s not okay to comment on someone’s appearance or that of their environment and is counter to the goals of this workshop.

Plan for call-in participants for remote workshops. Sharing documents, meeting notes, and any slides used ahead of time allow people to participate fully when a secure internet connection is not reliably available.

If anyone’s bandwidth is impacted by video conferencing, consider having everyone turn off their camera with only the speaker keeping their camera on.

The platform chosen will be one that enables the most accessible communication with your team. If known ahead of time the technology that is planned on being used for the virtual meeting, chat, and document sharing, feedback on availability of accessibility features will be provided.

Create space for those participants who have shared less or been quiet by saving time to ask for additional input. You won’t be put on the spot by being called on directly, unless the group has agreed to this ahead of time as a norm. Help keep a shared document with a “questions and comments” section for those who process information by writing.