Making the Washington State Nonprofit Conference More Accessible

Washington Nonprofits is working to make our learning spaces welcoming and inclusive to people of all abilities. If you require accommodations or support, please let our staff know. We will do what we can to help. Please read on to learn more about the steps we are taking.


Captioning helps people with hearing loss or deafness and can also be helpful for people for whom English is not their first language. Captions also support people with normal hearing who may be participating from a noisy space. The Washington State Nonprofit Conference will have live captioning for all our plenary sessions and use automatic captioning for workshops. You may access captioning through the Zoom toolbar at the bottom of your screen. Click on the “Live Transcripts – CC” button, and then click “show subtitle” to see the captions in the Zoom platform screen. To see the full transcript, click “view full transcript.”

ASL Interpretation

We provide ASL interpretation when requested by participants.

Visual Descriptions

We request that speakers and presenters include a visual description of themselves and their surroundings in their introduction. This helps give a person who is low-vision, blind, or even someone calling in without video a sense of space and place.

Limited Internet

In addition to the tips below, this short video also provides tips for connecting with limited internet.

Proximity to Signal

  • Hardwire if you can. Get closer to the source if that’s not possible.

Adjust Your Features

  • Speaker Versus Gallery View
    • Switch to the speaker view: gallery view uses a lot more data.
  • Mute Yourself
    • Even if you are sitting silently, it can still help to mute.
  • Turn Off HD and “Touch Up My Appearance”
    • The photo featured on the slide shows how to deselect HD and touch up my appearance in the video settings. This also saves a lot of data.
  • Avoid Screen Share
    • If you can avoid screen share (especially sharing a video on the screen) this can really help. You can use collaboration tools like Google docs instead of sharing the document on the screen. You can’t always control this aspect, though.
  • Dial In for Audio
    • Use the dial in for audio instead of using your computer audio. If you lose your video feed, you can still listen. And it might be just enough of a data savings that you don’t get the frozen screen. If you have a land line, this is even more solid.
  • Turn Off Your Video
    • If doing all the above steps aren’t enough, you can turn off your video as a final effort. Turning off your video may help with your connectivity issues, but the lack of video is challenging for people with disabilities as well as for presenters and attendees trying to engage with one another.

Plan Ahead

  • Avoid Network Congestion Time
    • Weekday evenings are peak hours for most internet users. That’s when most people spend the bulk of their time streaming videos, downloading files, and playing online games—and your internet can slow down at night as a result (even if it’s not in your house).
      • Note: our conference live sessions are not during typical network congestion time.
    • Ask housemates to accommodate
      • Ask if they can limit internet (especially streaming video and gaming) use while you are on important calls.
    • Download content early
      • The cool thing about the Whova platform is that you can go in early and download the presentation materials ahead of time.
      • We’re always happy to try to accommodate this in other workshops as well.
    • Connect with us for support
      • Finally, please reach out to us if you need support access our learning offerings, network meet-ups, policy calls, etc.

Sharing Your Pronouns

Sharing your pronouns is not required, but it is encouraged. If this is not something you are accustomed to, consider whether you might try it during the conference. By sharing your pronouns even if you feel your gender identification is obvious, you are showing solidarity with others and communicating that you care about getting everyone’s pronouns correct.

Asking and correctly using someone’s pronouns shows respect. When someone is referred to with the wrong pronouns, it can make them feel invalidated, dismissed or alienated.

What if I make a mistake?

Everyone slips sometimes. The best thing to do is to say something right away, “Sorry, I meant she.” It can be tempting to go on about how bad you feel.  Don’t. It can make the person who was misgendered feel responsible for comforting you, which is not their job.

Other things to know

  • Avoid using “preferred pronouns” as it suggests that gender is a preference, and “masculine/feminine pronouns” because pronouns are not associated with gender expression.
  • Although it may feel strange at first, they/them pronouns are used in the singular: “Xena ate their food because they were hungry.”
  • Some persons may prefer to use their name instead of pronouns: Xena ate Xena’s food because Xena was hungry.”
  • If you hear a colleague refer to another person using the wrong pronouns, in most cases, it is appropriate to gently correct them, “Actually, Luis uses the pronoun they.”
  • It may be appropriate to approach the person who was misgendered and say, “I notice that you were referred to with the wrong pronoun earlier. Do you want me to take them aside and remind them about your pronouns?”  Follow up if necessary but take cues from the individual who has been misgendered.

Thank you for helping us ensure that we together create an environment in which everyone can participate.