EDUCAUSE strives to hold meetings, conferences, and other professional events where all attendees feel welcome and barriers of any type do not exclude people from attending or participating. EDUCAUSE recognizes that long-term and lasting progress on this front will require time, sustained effort, and the cumulative impact of incremental and individual actions.
If you have any questions about our policies, or need special accommodations, please email [email protected] for assistance.
Please pay special attention to attendees with disabilities. Be aware that registrants with disabilities are to be given priority seating. Every session room will be set with one or two ADA cutouts for wheelchair users.
The following guidelines have been developed for presenters for creating and delivering PowerPoint slides. For further information and specific instructions on how to accomplish each item below, consult the Microsoft PowerPoint accessibility documentation.
- The content of your slideshow should be well-structured and logical.
- Use a familiar, sans serif font like Calibri or Arial to reduce reading load.
- Use the PowerPoint default font of 44-point bold font for headings.
- Use a large font size (18pt or larger).
- Use a 32-point font or larger for bullets.
- Provide sufficient text descriptions of graphs and tables for presentations posted online or sent digitally.
- Include no more than six lines of text on each slide.
- Every slide must have a title and should be unique.
- Ensure the reading order of content on each slide is correct.
- Use PowerPoint’s Accessibility Checker to find insufficient contrast within your content. The best possible contrast is black test on white, or white text on black. Measure color contrast with the WebAIM checker.
- Using Slide Masters is mandatory to being accessible. What is a slide master? When you want all your slides to contain the same fonts and images, you can make those changes in one place—the Slide Master, and they’ll be applied to all your slides. Here is a link to Microsoft's help page on Slide Masters.
- Use informative link titles. “Click Here” is not a meaningful label out of context. Create a descriptive label so people know what they will find when clicking on the link.
- Visual content meant to convey meaning must have alternative or alt text descriptions. Content that adds no meaning should be marked as decorative so screen readers will ignore them.
Saving Your Presentation as a Resource
See below for instructions on converting a copy of your presentation as a resource. File sizes should be 2GB or smaller.
- ✓ First find and fix any accessibility issues using PowerPoint’s Accessibility Checker.
- ✓ Select File > Save As and choose where to store your PDF.
- ✓ Do NOT select “Print to PDF” or “Save as Adobe PDF”!
- ✓ Change “Save As” type to PDF (*.pdf).
- ✓ Fill the Title field with the title of your PowerPoint presentation.
- ✓ Select the “More Options” button near the title of your document and then select “Options.”
- ✓ Check both “Document Properties” and “Document structure tags for accessibility” boxes.
- ✓ Select “Save” and close Options.
- ✓ Select “Save” to convert PDF.
- Provide caption files for videos. Some versions of PowerPoint allow you to add caption files within PowerPoint; others may require you to burn in or encode the caption files into the video file in advance.
- Ensure the video has sufficient description of any visual content in the video. If the video does not adequately describe its visual content, consider adding any missing visual descriptions into an offscreen text box for screen reader users.
Reaching Participants with Vision Impairments
- Describe the slides briefly (e.g., "This slide covers these three key points…" or "This graph illustrates these key points....").
- Avoid pointing to something on the slide and using words like "this, that, these, and those" unless you indicate what those words mean (e.g., "This map shows…" not "This shows…"). People who can't see you pointing to a slide don't know what "this" used alone means.
Reaching Participants with Hearing Impairments
- Always use a microphone—even if you believe you speak loud enough.
- The practice of speaking audibly, clearly, and directly into the microphone also promotes understanding in the audience and gives sign language interpreters or CART transcribers time to translate what you are saying.
- Look at your audience rather than the screen or your paper. Keep your hands away from your mouth so that people who speechread can understand you. Use active words and short sentences. Words should reinforce visual material.
- Always repeat all audience comments and questions into the microphone.
- Videos used in presentations should be captioned.
- Ensure that only one person speaks at a time by asking members of the group to wait until they are acknowledged before commenting or asking questions.
EDUCAUSE provides accommodations for attendees who are hearing impaired. For more information, contact [email protected].
- Do not walk in front of interpreters while they are signing.
- Let interpreters know if you are willing to be stopped during your presentation if they need clarification.
- When you address a person using an interpreter, speak directly to the person, not the interpreter.
- Spell unusual terms, names, and foreign words.
- When using visuals, allow extra time for the audience to look at the items after you discuss them. People using interpreters cannot examine items when they are watching the interpreter.
Here are some great resources to help you plan a presentation to ensure the audience is engaged and participants feel a sense of belonging:
- Inclusive Presentation Skills - At a Glance
- Creating Accessible and Engaging Presentations
- Delivering Inclusive Presentations
Wordly Translation Service
EDUCAUSE is using Wordly, a service that provides real-time captioning and translation for attendees. The Wordly service works via a mobile device, which we will set up in each session room. The device takes sound from the audio mixing board and sends it to Wordly, which then makes it accessible to attendees via the web browser on their computers and/or mobile devices.
Attendees can access the Wordly translation service via a link available in the EDUCAUSE Events mobile app and on our website.
The service works best with clear audio from the microphones. Please ensure that you use the microphones provided for all presentation content, including audience Q&A.
The accuracy of transcriptions may be low for videos embedded in your presentation. We recommend having captions added to all videos prior to the conference.