Enhancing Accessibility at Conferences: A Guide for Presenters

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A woman using American Sign Language in a video conference

Summer conference season is upon us, including our own HI-TEC Conference which is just around the corner. Presenters play a crucial role in ensuring that these events are accessible and informative for all attendees. With the goal of making every presentation as inclusive as possible, ATE Impacts has compiled some essential tips and resources to help you prepare your materials.

Accessible Presentation Planning

Getting Organized
Start by outlining your presentation and organizing your thoughts. Consider your audience and their diverse needs. Collect supporting documents and ensure your goals are clear. As you create your presentation, keep accessibility at the forefront. Remember, successful sessions are those that are relevant across different fields, industries, and professional roles.

Timing Your Presentation
Practice makes perfect. Fine-tune your presentation to fit within the 45-minute session length, including time for questions and answers. Keep in mind that real-time at the conference may move faster, so add a buffer of a few extra minutes.

Preparing for Questions
Anticipate potential questions from your audience. Have someone review your presentation and pose questions to you. Think through your responses and have additional resources ready to share.

Delivering an Accessible Presentation

Arriving Early
Be considerate of the presenters before you and use the 15-minute break between sessions to set up. Ensure all HI-TEC-provided cables and equipment remain for the next presenter.

Tracking Your Time
If you have co-presenters, designate someone to keep track of time. If you're presenting solo, set reminders or cues in your slides to stay on schedule. Be courteous by ending on time and allowing the next presenter to set up.

Ensuring Accessibility

  • Caption Videos: Ensure all embedded videos are captioned.
  • Clear Audio: Make sure audio is clear and descriptive.
  • Describe Visuals: Describe any images or photos and explain their relevance.
  • Read Slides Aloud: Verbally share all information on your slides.
  • Use Microphones: Speak clearly and use the microphone if available.
  • Simple Slides: Avoid overcrowding slides with too much information.

Sharing Contact Information
Many attendees may want to connect with you post-session. Share your contact information verbally and include it on your slides. Providing an email address or other contact methods can facilitate further discussions.

Sharing Your Slides
Sharing your slides is optional but recommended. Use services like Apple iCloud, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive to create a shareable link. A QR code can also be a convenient way to share this link.

Accessibility Resources
To further enhance your presentation’s accessibility, consider the following resources:

  • W3C WAI: Making Events Accessible: A comprehensive checklist for making your materials and presentations accessible.
  • AccessATE.net: Creating Accessible Presentations: Tips for creating accessible presentations before, during, and after your session.
  • Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Google, and Prezi: Each offers guides on making documents and presentations accessible on their platforms.

If you have other resources you’d like to share out related to making conferences and presentations more accessible we’re happy to help - send them along to us at impacts@ateimpacts.net.  By working together we can ensure that our educational conferences are  accessible and impactful for everyone. Learn more about HI-TEC 2024 at the conference site and visit AccessATE and CAST for more information about accessibility

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    ATE Impacts

Last Edited: June 24th at 10:03am by Meredith Whye

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