We are always working on making Gather more accessible, and while we have some features on the roadmap, we are always open for feedback and specific suggestions. 

In the meantime, we can make some recommendations on how to best use Gather to assist with your accessibility needs as well as recommend third-party software that we have seen work well in the past. 

Audio Accessibility Suggestions

  • ASL interpreters in Gather
    • For keynote speeches, interpreters can also be spotlighted so that the ASL interpreter shows up as the top left as a prioritized video. Users can click on the ASL interpreters individual video to full-screen the interpreter's video for more visibility.
    • The Follow Feature may be helpful for those with partial-visual accessibility needs to allow the interpreter to follow the participant as they explore the space
  • 3rd-Party Live Captioning Tools:
    • The latest Chrome update now natively supports live captioning of audio streams, which WebRTC connects to automatically, so you can have live captioning for other people's audio in Gather! Just click the musical note next to your Chrome profile, click "Live Captioning, English only", and turn it on, and you will see a live feed of what everyone else says (not what you say). 
    • Speakers can screen share while using
    • OBS's integration with Webcaptioner (OBS is a video capturing software that lets you alter your out-going video feed): 
    • - Closed captioning overlay:
      • Additionally their mobile app allows captions to be associated with individuals if others also download the app and allow it to capture their audio. 

Visually Impaired/Motor Control Accessibility Methods

Moving Around the Space

  • You can have others guide you momentarily from space to space using the follow feature.  Once you are where you need to be, you can tap any arrow key on your keyboard to stop following the person. 
  • Many universities also use private Zoom meetings in addition to Gather to have a student-specific guide walk students around the space to join different sessions and interact with others.

Color-Blind Users

  • Our Map Design team currently uses a browser add-on that considers various variants for Green-blind (Deuteranomaly) and a basic grey-scale. When designing template maps, we use shapes and textures to designate differences. Unfortunately, we are unable to enforce strict design requirements on custom maps. We can, however, recommend the following tools for those designing their own spaces:

Past Updates for Accessibility & Improving Gather Accessibility 

  • Changes to comply to WCAG and AAA color blind compliance  - Status Indicators and Text colors have been changed to sharper blues, pinks, and other colors. 

  • Follow feature to allow motor impaired users and partially blind users to move around by following other users.

  • Changing the placement of the avatar on the video to facilitate seeing sign language.

  • We chose fonts on our product design where letters can be easily distinguishable from one another.