Quick Tips for Accessible Presentations

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Image by Corey Smith
Quick and easy strategies for developing online presentations that are accessible to all types of learners.

Structuring Your Presentation

  • Maintain consistent structure and design throughout presentation.
  • Provide an overview of the presentation at the beginning.
  • Review the key points of the presentation at the end.
  • Present key concepts in multiple ways using visual, auditory, and tactile approaches.
  • Take questions at regular points throughout the presentation, every 20-30 minutes.
  • Avoid acronyms and jargon that may be difficult for participants to understand. If you must use them, assemble a list of key terms and their definitions.

Developing Text Materials

  • Use no more than six bullets per slide.
  • Maintain high contrast between font colors and background colors. For example, dark-colored text on a white or light-colored background is high contrast and easy to read; however, yellow text against a white background or dark blue text on a purple background is too difficult to read.
  • Use solid color backgrounds with text, avoiding noisy graphics or patterns.
  • Use 18 point font or greater.
  • Avoid large blocks of words in all caps, italics, or underline, which can reduce legibility.
  • Use sans serif fonts (Example: Arial) instead of serif fonts (Example: Times New Roman).
  • If you color-code text, ensure that there are alternative ways to convey meaning to blind or color-blind individuals.

Developing Multimedia Aids

  • Create slides that are uniform in color, font and layout.
  • Audio descriptions and closed-captioning must be provided for all audiovisual materials.
  • Either provide alternate formats of all visual aids, or deliver such materials to the meeting sponsors in advance of the conference so that the materials can be reproduced in the necessary alternate formats.
  • Avoid flashing graphics and sudden noises as this can cause issues for individuals with sensory sensitivities.

Delivering Your Presentation

  • Use well-modulated tones and a moderate pace.
  • Describe key images, such as charts, graphics, and photos, out loud.
  • Remember that individuals using interpreters cannot look at the slide when they are watching the interpreter. Allow extra time to look at each slide or document once you are finished discussing it.
  • Don't race through your presentation. Try to keep to your normal speaking pace so that your audience - and interpreters - can easily follow.