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Author's profile photo Andrea Waisgluss

Inclusive Meeting Cards: Free to Download!


The Inclusive Meeting Card set from SAP Design


**Update November 2021: Thanks to ongoing feedback, we adapted our design using grayscale to minimize visual distraction**


It’s been almost two years since remote working and online meetings became the new normal. And while doing business on platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom presents many challenges that we’ve learned to adjust to – (my) screaming kids in the background, spotty WiFi, zoom-fatigue – others remain hidden altogether.

For example, have you ever considered how a deaf colleague might struggle to follow along during a virtual team meeting with cameras off? Or how overwhelming it might feel for a colleague on the spectrum to hear the background noises of your unmuted microphone? That’s the thing about privilege: We don’t need to consider the things that don’t directly affect us.

When things are designed for you, it’s easy to overlook that anything is wrong, or that someone with different needs may not be having the same experience as you. But the facts speak for themselves. According to the World Health Organization, there are around 1 billion people currently living with a disability worldwide. That’s about 1 in 7 of us, including many of the coworkers who you encounter daily on the other side of your screen, or maybe even yourself.

An inclusive work culture – Making a choice not to leave anyone out

At SAP, we believe in cultivating an inclusive work culture made up of people with different abilities and backgrounds. That means making the conscious choice through our actions not to leave anyone behind. When it comes to virtual presentations and meetings, all colleagues should be enabled to participate and contribute. That’s why we took the time this year to create a set of simple guidelines for conducting virtual meetings and presentations that are accessible for everyone.

The team of accessibility experts who developed the guidelines, some of whom live and work with disabilities themselves, set out to educate the SAP employee community on best practices for preparing and conducting virtual sessions. Now, we are carrying that message forward by bringing you a set of free, downloadable Inclusive Meeting Cards to read through, bookmark, use, and share with your friends and colleagues.



How do you run an inclusive meeting?

These Inclusive Meeting Cards will help you to prepare and run your sessions for the widest possible audience, including people with hearing or visual impairments, neurodiverse colleagues, and colleagues who are non-native speakers. No, non-native speakers aren’t disabled, but that’s the thing with inclusion: opening up the way we do things creates new opportunities for use for everybody. For example, using closed captioning is a critical feature for people who are hard of hearing, but at the same time it can be extremely beneficial for non-native speakers, or even working parents with a sleeping baby on their arms who may want to turn the volume down.

Anyone who hosts online meetings or presentations will benefit from knowing how to run a more inclusive meeting. Below, you can take a quick peek at what you can expect from the download.


The Animation card features useful tips on how to reduce visual noise during virtual meetings

Each graphical card is accompanied by a detailed text description of an inclusive meeting prompt. You will find information on:

  • Preparing the session, including choosing the interaction platforms
  • Structuring your slides, using the right wording, appearance, animations, screen reader support, and running accessibility checks
  • Using and sharing pre-recorded video and audio
  • Running the session, including how to set the scene (lighting, positioning) and how to optimize the way you speak

The cards can be downloaded both as a PowerPoint presentation or as a PDF. The PPT file is our accessible version, containing high-contrast images with alternative text, and is screen-reader friendly.

We hope you enjoy scrolling your way through the virtual card set and come away with the feeling that creating an inclusive work culture is actually quite an easy thing to do.


Learn more about accessibility and inclusion at SAP by visiting Diversity and Inclusion at SAP. And follow SAP Design via the SAP Fiori topic page for more design and user experience content.







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      Author's profile photo Morten Wittrock
      Morten Wittrock

      Love this! Thanks for sharing.

      Author's profile photo Andrea Waisgluss
      Andrea Waisgluss
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks so much, Morten!

      Author's profile photo Lee Barnard
      Lee Barnard

      Excellent set of tips for presenters and anyone who wants to make their meetings more inclusive. Thanks for compiling this, Andrea!

      Author's profile photo Andrea Waisgluss
      Andrea Waisgluss
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you, Lee! If you have any feedback on the content, please let us know as well 🙂

      Author's profile photo Hannes Johne
      Hannes Johne

      Additional tips ensuring good experience when reading slides from a beamer (in person meeting/seminar)

      I recently attended an in-person event with slides and SAP system demo presented via beamer. I'd like to share my experience:

      • contrast was really bad (blame light conditions but this happens all the time with beamers during daylight)
      • text was hard to read because text size was not accommodated for a room of that size
      • screenshots in slides were too small

      When giving the demo we had to actively ask the presenters to scale in (CTRL + PLUS-key). This in combination with setting to high contrast Fiori theme finally did the trick. The system may looked like a Balsamiq wireframe but everybody got the buttons and interactions right which is ultimatively the communication goal, right?

      Conclusion: taking care of accessibility makes your life as a presenter so much easier as the conditions call for bigger and more contrast. I hope they learned it that day.

      Another thing with presentations is mouse pointer size: you can easily increase that in operating system's settings (Windows: just hit Windows-key and type in change pointer size ). A bigger size helps to better follow the pointer and getting all the actions.


      regarding the meeting cards tips

      What is it with

      Use inclusive language. Ask “Is the
      audio working properly?” rather than “Can
      everyone hear me?”.

      I mean: yes a deaf person cannot hear the presenter and would reply "no" (though may be partiticapting through live-captioning). However, the answer to "audio working properly?" would still be "no", isn't it?

      Make text stand out using colors and
      bold, not italics.

      I learned that bold formatting aims for standing out without reading while italics is good for emphasis while reading. Isn't that something that's useful nonetheless?

      regarding accessible PDFs

      Okay, this is perhaps premium icing-on-the-cake stuff (is it really?). I tested the meeting-cards.pdf with MS Edge's built-in PDF reading functionality. Here's my observations:

      1. MINUS SAP copyright is read aloud on each slide - is there a way to tell screen readers not to do this (or is this actually a good thing?)
      2. PLUS whoa, it's set to English out-of-the-box (running MS Windows in German). Is this a setting for PDF-generation or is this smart Edge?
      3. MINUS Title and headline are read aloud as if it's one thing. There should be a pause?
      4. NEUTRAL Line breaks survive when selecting and pasting text to another target (say Notepad or MS Word or browser). It's a bit awkward when you want to share an interesting point and the line-breaks make no sense in the target medium:

      The words we use and our writing style
      are critical to ensuring our message is well


      Microsoft Edge reads aloud PDF: cards for inclusive meetings document

      Accessible design is good design

      Being a person educated in usability and human-computer-interaction I'd like to evangelize that accessible design is benefitting each and everyone (universal design principle if I'm correct) in multiple contexts (e.g. closed captions are handy when you're in a sound-sensitive environment be it super-noisy or hush-quiet-please).

      Additional effort - why bother then?

      However, all of this requires extra effort. Workforce sighs over "so much stuff to get done" and would probably reply with "this, too?". How to argue against their (good) point? I'd like to say: when you give someone additional tasks then you need to omit/reduce/make it easier somewhere else as well. The "it's the right thing to do"-argument is not enough - I'm afraid.

      Author's profile photo Andrea Waisgluss
      Andrea Waisgluss
      Blog Post Author

      Hannes, first of all it's lovely to see you get really engaged with the content!

      I agree that "it's the right thing to do" argument isn't enough, but I think that campaigns like this one at least (hopefully) create awareness for this topic, and that's already a good start.

      Regarding your question on inclusive language, the idea is to acknowledge through our words (and actions) that not everyone may have the same physical abilities. Although someone who is hard of hearing might not be able to tell you whether or not the audio is working, the person asking the question is willfully not excluding this person with their language.

      By the way, inclusive language is a big topic at SAP, you may want to check out this article on the steps SAP's taken in the last few years:

      And regarding the PDF, thanks so much for your observations. We know making a PDF accessible isn't always feasible, but that's why we focused on making sure that the PPTX version is. But we will take your feedback into account for the next iteration.

      Best wishes and thanks again for sharing your thoughts,