Presenter Guidelines for Accessibility and Inclusion

The ACES Conference strives to be an event where all attendees are provided an opportunity for meaningful and full participation. In an effort to make conference programs and services accessible and inclusive for persons with disabilities, please adhere to the following guidelines when preparing your conference materials. 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, 2017 and the Alabama Counseling Association: Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities, 2014)

1. 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:
a. Text content
- Title fonts should be 44 pt. or greater. Text fonts should be 36 pt. or greater
- Limit the number of slides and slide length to allow your audience time to read slides.
- Place no more than 6 lines of text or three ideas on a slide (excluding columns).
- Note that many people with disabilities use text-based screen reading software and computer devices. Graphics, specifically, are difficult to read with screen readers.
b. Graphic content
- Replace graphics with text whenever possible.
- If graphics are used, include a detailed explanation of the meaning of that charts or graphic in a descriptive text-only slide included immediately after the graphic slide.
- Avoid the following:
-- Slide transitions
-- Busy slide backgrounds
-- Chart filler patterns
-- Over-crowding text
-- Color schemes providing low contrast
-- Charts without text descriptions
-- Videos that are not captioned

2. 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.
- Use 18-point font for all text. Larger fonts may be used for headings.
- Use a bold serif font (such as Times New Roman) for body text and a bold simple sans-serif font (such as Arial) for headings and other information that is set apart from body text. 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.
- Print on single-sided 8.5" by 11" paper and stapled at the top left corner.
- When possible use letter orientation to achieve maximum visibility.
- Left justify all paragraphs and do not use columns.
- Keep a one-inch margin on all.

3. 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:
- Bring a flash drive file of your poster in text or descriptive PowerPoint format for attendees who are blind or have low vision.
- 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 and layout to make it accessible to attendees with low vision.
- If your poster includes video of any kind, have captions available for that video.

4. 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 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.
- If you use a board or a flip chart to describe information, complete some examples in advance or use an overhead projector, Power Point, or web sites to avoid turning your back to the audience when speaking.
- Read aloud information presented on the board or overhead. Also, try to have printed copies of board or overhead information available.
- Always try to present key terms and concepts visually as well as orally.
- If necessary, electronic files can be shared with participants after the end of the conference via email.

5. Cultural/Language Considerations
- Think about how culture relates to your presentation subject.
- If you use case studies, data, images, scenarios and/or vignettes, provide examples that reflect diverse cultural perspectives.
- All presenters should use people-first language or identity-first language. Person first language emphasizes the person instead of the disability when discussing most disabilities. For example, instead of saying "Autistic person," it is preferable to say, "person with Autism Spectrum Disorder." Identity-first language emphasizes that the disability plays a role in who the person is, and reinforces disability as a positive cultural identifier. Identity-first language is generally preferred by self-advocates in the Autism Spectrum Disorder, deaf, and blind communities.
- It is important to note that people may differ in their preference for people-first or identity-first language. If you are not sure whether to use people-first or identity-first language in order to be respectful, the best thing to do is to ask people themselves.

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.