Making Your Presentations Disability Friendly
- Clear aisles of any obstacles to individuals with mobility impairments.
- Remove chairs at the end of rows for those using wheelchairs, scooters, or guide dogs so they are not forced to sit in the front, back, or in an aisle.
- Seating should be made available in the front row for those who use assistive listening devices, who use sign language interpreters, or who lip-read.
- If it is possible to regulate the lighting, lights should be adjusted to meet the individual needs of those with visual impairments. (Note: This could mean dimming lights as well as raising them depending on the nature of the impairment.)
- Speakers and interpreters should be well lit for attendees who read lips or use sign language.
- Provide copies of all handouts in 16-18 point font.
- Provide copies of handouts in electronic format (e.g. .txt, .rtf, or .doc).
- Provide hard copies of overheads and PowerPoint presentations.
- Read and describe overheads and PowerPoint for those with visual or learning disabilities.
- Allow time for location and review when referring to visual materials.
- Speak clearly and distinctly with a rate of speed and volume usually considered appropriate for public speaking.
- Use a microphone when provided. Microphones should be held at a distance from the mouth such that it will pick up your voice while not muffling the sound.
- Repeat all questions and comments from the audience into the microphone.
- Presenters should speak one at a time.
- Do not turn away from the audience while you are speaking.
- Speakers should identify who they are for those with visual impairments.
- Do not communicate key information solely in gesture or visual reference.
- Turn off overhead projectors and other equipment when not in use to decrease distracting noises.
- Eye contact and comments should be directed to the person who is deaf and not to the sign language interpreter.
- Comments should be addressed directly to participants with disabilities and not to their companions.
- Allow sessions not being taped through the taping service to be taped by participants with disabilities.
- If possible, provide copies of papers to sign language interpreters prior to presentation.
- Allow ample time for questions and answers.