At the “Accessibility Summit II” meeting one of the invited participants failed to arrive at York due to difficulties with the trains at Bournemouth and Southampton. On hearing this, my initial response was “Is she a Skyper?” On hearing that she did have a Skype ID, we set about setting up a teleconference using Skype. As the PC used for the presentations was also running the Skype software we needed to use another PC to provide a chat facility. We made use of Gabbly, associated with a specific URL (to avoid chatters on the Gabbly home page. This on-the-fly use of technologies at an event worked well – and something I would advise others to be able to deploy if needed.
An additional approach I would suggest (and something I did at the “Exploiting The Potential Of Wikis” workshop) is to be able to easily upload PowerPoint files (if they are being used) to allow the remote participant to view them. I have used Slideshare.net to do this, which seems to work well.
It was particularly appropriate to do this at the Accessibility Summit, as it provided a good example of on-the-fly / just-in-time accessibility for a user who couldn’t otherwise hear and take part in the discussions or view the presentations.