Presenter Guidelines for Accessibility and Inclusion

In an effort to make conference programs and services accessible to persons with disabilities, please adhere to the following guidelines when preparing your conference materials. In addition to these guidelines, use the accessibility checker in software applications (e.g., Word and Power Point). For additional assistance, refer to the link below.
Word and Power Point Accessibility Evaluation Checklist

If it is not possible for you to meet one or more of the following guidelines, please notify the conference Accessibility Chair as soon as possible to allow other provisions to be made.

Accessibility Chair: Kelley Mautz, 404-449-7452,

(The following was adapted from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities: Accessibility and Inclusion, 2016; Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM), 2019, and the Montclair State University Digital Accessibility Initiative.

PowerPoint Guidelines
To ensure PowerPoint presentations effectively display ideas and data in a manner that is accessible to all audience members, we suggest the following:
Built-in slide templates and themes

  • Use built-in slide layouts. Be sure to choose a theme with good contrast and with simple backgrounds.
  • In addition, Microsoft has identified several templates that are optimized for accessibility. See below for the link to these templates.
Accessible Power Point Template Sampler
Text content and font
  • • Avoid using the same title for slides with spill-over information. Instead, include additional information, such as ‘Slide Title 1 of 2.’
  • • Avoid using text boxes.
    • • Limit the number of slides and slide length to allow your audience time to read slides.
    • • Place no more than 6 lines of text (with 5 or 6 words per line) or three ideas on a slide. (excluding columns).
    • • Use left justification.
  • • Title fonts should be 44 pt. or greater. Text fonts should be 36 pt. or greater.
  • • Use san serif font types, such as Helvetica, Arial, and Verdana.
  • • Avoid use of italic font style
  • • Try not to use more than one font type per slide.
    • • Use left justification.
    • • Note that many people with disabilities use text-based screen reading software and computer devices. Graphics, specifically, are difficult to read with screen readers. See suggestions below
Graphic content, tables, or links
  • • Replace graphics with text whenever possible.
  • • If pictures, clipart, SmartArt, graphics, shapes, and/or charts are used in the presentation, alternative text (ALT Text) needs to be added. In other words, enter information that provides an explanation or that states the purpose and/or function of the graphic (in about 250 words or less).
  • • Or, use a descriptive text-only slide included immediately after the graphic slide.
  • • Additional steps must be taken to make graphics, tables, and links accessible for all. For specific instructions, refer to the link below.
Power Point Accessibility
  • • Avoid the following:
    • o Slide transitions.
    • o Busy slide backgrounds.
    • o Chart filler patterns.
    • o Over-crowding text.
    • o Color schemes providing low contrast.
    • o Charts without text descriptions.
    • o Tables with split cells, merged cells, or nested tables.
    • o Videos that are not captioned. Videos with dialogue should include closed captions or subtitles in a format for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. If captioning is not possible, a text transcript of the video should be provided. Below are links to creating closed captioning for YouTube videos, as well as instructions supplied by Google drive.
YouTube - Add Your Own Closed Captions or Subtitles
Google Drive - Add Captions to Your Videos

Print Material Guidelines

Individuals who are blind or have low vision may not be able to read standard sized print on your handouts. We suggest you bring appropriate numbers of your handouts in one or more of the following formats to ensure full participation, including uploading an electronic version of all handouts to the ACES program portal.
  • • Use 18-point font for all text. Larger fonts may be used for headings.
  • • Use a simple sans-serif font (such as Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana). Do not use any compressed fonts.
  • • Make lines heavy/thick in charts and graphs.
  • • Use a minimum of 1.5 line spacing; use double spacing when possible.
  • • Do not use small caps, italics, or all caps for text. Use initial caps and lower case for titles and text.
  • • Use underlining for emphasis instead of italics.
  • • Do not rely on color or highlighting to convey emphasis or meaning. Use an asterisk (*) or include the words “Important” or “Attention” prior to the text.
  • • Be sure your document has a sufficient degree of color contrast. You can use a free tool to check the color contrast of your document at the following link
Color Contrast Analyzer
  • • Print on single-sided 8.5" by 11" paper and stapled at the top left corner.
  • • When possible use letter orientation rather than portrait to achieve maximum visibility.
  • • Left justify all paragraphs and do not use columns.
  • • Remove extra spaces that might be present between paragraphs.
  • • Keep a one-inch margin on all sides.

Poster Guidelines

Poster presenters should consider all possible participants, including those who are blind or have low vision; those who are deaf or hard of hearing; and those with mobility or physical challenges. The following are our suggestions:
  • • To provide quick and easy access to your poster presentation, handouts, or reference materials, use a Quick Response code (QR code). The QR code can be included on the poster itself, on a slip of paper, on a business card, etc. Attendees can use their Smart phone camera or access a QR code reader via their Smart phone by downloading a QR code reader app. See the link(s) below for instructions to creating a QR code that links to DropBox and Google Drive.
Using QR Codes to Make Presentations More Accessible
QR Code Generator
  • • Instead of linking to the actual poster, create a document that outlines all the poster’s information and include explanations of any visual elements (e.g., tables, graphs, or images) rather than simply converting one’s poster to a PDF.
  • • Offer to describe your poster to attendees who are blind or have low vision.
    • • If you have access to a laptop computer with voice output software, prepare a brief description of your poster for listeners who are blind or have low vision.
    • • Consider modifying your poster font size and style (i.e., 72-96 point sanserif font) and layout to make it accessible to attendees with low vision.

Guidelines for Effective Communication

  • • If present, make sure sign language interpreters have a copy of your presentation before you begin.
  • • Presenters should speak clearly at a moderate pace.
  • • If a presentation includes a video, provide captions or ensure the caption function has been turned on.
  • • Do not rearrange the rooms in a manner that may prohibit physical access.
  • • Face the audience when speaking. Many individuals with hearing or attention disorders rely on watching someone speak to understand the material.
  • • Repeat or re-word lengthy or complex oral directions.
  • • Repeat questions and comments from audience members.
  • • Always try to preview and summarize content during each session.
  • • Avoid turning your back to the audience when speaking.
  • • Always try to present key terms and concepts visually as well as orally.
  • • Upload all presentation materials to the ACES Conference app.

If in doubt, please contact Kelley Mautz at or 404-449-7452 with any questions you have about ensuring your presentation is accessible to all participants at the conference.

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