As presenters we should be more thoughtful of our audience and try to help them as much as we can. We try keeping people entertained by making simpler presentations for their busy attention spans. We try to use font correctly to help people read text effortlessly. Therefore, we we must also try our best to include everyone by making presentations more accessible.

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Why Make Presentations Accessible?

The standards for making presentations are getting better. Needs of people with hearing and sight impairments should be taken into account when making presentations for a wider audience in particular. So, making presentations accessible is very important; even more so in case of web based presentations.

There Should Be Enough Contrast

There should be enough contrast between the background color/pattern and the foreground text/visual. This is to make sure that everyone will be able to read that text correctly. You can check your contrast levels using this web page.

Use The Right Sized Fonts

The size of fonts for your presentation slides depends on the visual acuity you’re preparing for. Very few people have perfect 20/20 vision. According to Dave Paradi, font size should be set to around 36 to 44 point size for the titles, and around 24 to 32 points for text in the body of the presentation. This should be enough, even for an audience having visual acuity of about 20/40. Even Larger text may be needed for people with more visual impairment.

Passing Accessible Printed Slides For Videos, Commentary, and Visuals

Prepare special printed slides for hearing or vision impaired members of the audience. These printed slides should contain commentary of the presentation and an explanation of any visuals; including animations. If there is a video in the presentation, then you should include a transcript of the video as well.

Presentations are a standard way to communicate important messages to an audience. We need to try and make our presentations accessible to as many people as we can so that everyone is included and no one feels left out.

Image: [public domain] via Wikimedia Commons