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Make Your Presentation Accessible

Our goal is to make TMS 2021 inclusive and accessible to all attendees. Here are some simple ways to help make your presentation and supporting materials accessible to everyone in your audience, including people with disabilities.

Don’t be overwhelmed; perfection is not required.

We know it is not always feasible to follow all of these recommendations. But even making just of few of these enhancements will significantly improve the experience for all.  

Video Presentations

When creating your presentation

Consider presentation structure. Avoid filling your slides with small text. Use clearly defined titles, headers, and content sections. Closed captioning will be available to attendees (on request) so leave some space at the bottom of your slides to ensure your content will not be obscured.

Pay attention to text size, font, and spacing. Use a larger font size (18pt or larger), “sans serif” fonts such as Arial or Calibri, and ample white space between lines of text. Avoid using all capital letters (“ALL CAPS”) and excessive italics or underlines.

Pay attention to colors. Use strong contrast between the text and background. You can test colors online at WebAIM and Accessible Colors

Don’t rely on color alone to communicate data. Include labels when presenting a chart, and if the colors are close to one another, use a break between sections.

Rely on high contrast schemes, when possible. These make it easier for people with low vision and colorblindness to distinguish text and shapes. Use dark text on a white or off-white background or white text on a black or dark background. 

Pay attention to colors. Use strong contrast between the text and background. You can test colors online at WebAIM and Accessible Colors.  

Avoid flashing or blinking content when possible. If you must use it, make sure there are fewer than 3 blinks or flashes per second. Limit slide transitions and animation.


During your presentation

Verbally explain what you show on the screen. Not only will this make the content more accessible to those who are unable to see it but will also improve understanding for everyone.

For example, when showing a data visualization, state “this graph demonstrates X” or “these results indicate X.” Do not assume what you are showing is easily interpreted or seen by everyone.

After your presentation

Consider offering accessible slides for download. Since your slides will be in a video, your text will not be read by assistive technology (e.g., screen readers) during your presentation. However, if you plan on sharing your slides as a resource for download, make every effort to ensure they are accessible.

Consider providing a transcript or text alternative for download as well.


Poster Presentations and PDF Handouts

Consider presentation structure. Use clearly defined titles, headers, and content sections. Ensure there is ample white space and group or cluster your content into logical sections.

Pay attention to text size, font, and spacing. Use a larger font size (18pt or larger), “sans serif” fonts such as Arial or Calibri, and ample white space between lines of text. Avoid using all capital letters (“ALL CAPS”) and excessive italics or underlines.

Pay attention to colors. Use strong contrast between the text and background. You can test colors online at WebAIM and Accessible Colors

Don’t rely on color alone to communicate data. Include labels when presenting a chart and if the colors are close to one another, use a break between sections. If including links, make sure they have enough color contrast from the surrounding text and use an underline.

APA Better Poster Mod

Chart Example

Add alternative (alt) text to images and figures. This text, read by assistive technology (e.g., screen readers), should describe the content depicted in the image. For example, if you are using a graph, the alt text should indicate that it is a graph demonstrating [subject].  

If presenting a poster, use the APA “Better Poster” mod. Even if you have used our template in the past, please download this version; we have included updates to improve accessibility.

If using Word or PowerPoint, run an “accessibility check” before you finish. In Word, you will find the “Check Accessibility” under the “Review” tab. In PowerPoint, it is under “Tools.”

Save your document as PDF. Avoid printing to PDF, as this does not preserve the document’s accessibility features. You must “save as” as opposed to “print to”. To do this, select File > Save As > PDF. 

In cooperation with

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Thank you to our TMS 2021 Sponsor