For session guidance on the day:
Visit our Session guidance for presenters.
Inclusion and Accessibility
The Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE) aims to ensure all its events, including conferences, symposia and webinars, are an accessible and inclusive experience. We aim to provide an environment where everyone feels like they belong. It is our intent that presenters fully consider their potential audience when preparing and delivering their presentation, and that attendees feel comfortable going into any presentation with the understanding that they will be able to participate fully. This enhances the experience for the presenter and the delegates by helping to create an inclusive community that acknowledges the wider HE and societal contexts in which Learning Development operates.
We are conscious that presenters may be aware of inclusion and accessibility considerations and have integrated these into their presentations. As such, this guide is intended to support presenters, and is not meant to imply that presenters are not considering these issues.
ALDinHE is always looking for ways to improve inclusion. If you have any recommendations, feedback or ideas for advancing accessibility and inclusion, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please consider the following when designing your poster or presentation:
- When introducing yourself, please offer what pronouns you use. This lessens gender assumptions and increases self-determination and identification. When in-person, rather than online, people can write their pronouns on their name badge. For example, ‘Jane Smith, they/them/theirs and she/her/hers’.
- When fielding questions from the audience, don’t assume one’s gender. Instead, you could say, ‘Yes, the person in the purple top’.
- When thinking also about diversity with communities, be conscious of those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, queer, and genderqueer. Please be conscious of any privilege you may have (e.g., cisgender privilege).
Gender and sexuality
- To refer to a person whose pronouns you don’t know, use the singular pronoun ‘they’.
- Avoid using ‘men and women’ to refer to all people.
- Avoid terms such as ‘guys’, ‘girls’ and ‘ladies’.
- Use gender-neutral nouns such as ‘worker’ and ‘chairperson’.
- Use ‘spouse’, ‘partner’ or ‘in a relationship’.
- Use ‘different sex’ instead of ‘opposite sex’.
- Use ‘sexual orientation’ instead of ‘sexual preference’.
Race and ethnicity
- Check any images you are using to ensure they reflect the diversity of the population you are presenting.
- Be aware that the idea of a ‘neutral’ or ‘normal’ can contain biases and cultural assumptions.
- Be aware that BAME is a contentious term that can strip individual ethnicities of their different identities.
- Include culturally and linguistically appropriate language.
Ability and Disability
Disability is a natural part of the human experience, and most people do not like to be labelled. It is preferable to use people-first language, which emphasises the person instead of the disability when discussing most intellectual and developmental disabilities. For example, instead of saying ‘Down’s syndrome person’, say ‘person with Down’s syndrome’.
Some disability self-advocates prefer identity-first language. Identity-first language emphasises 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 autistic, deaf, and blind communities. It is important to note that whether a person with a disability prefers people-first or identity-first language is not universal.
Be mindful of unconscious bias.
Inclusive language: words to use and avoid when writing about disability
Ten tips for cross cultural communication
- Presenters should describe slides and graphics briefly. For example: “This slide covers these three key points…” “This graph illustrates these key points.”
- Avoid referring to items using words like “this, that, these, and those”, unless you indicate what “this” means. For example: “This map shows…, These results indicate…” rather than “This shows…” People who can’t see you pointing to a slide don’t know what “this” used alone means.
- Presenters should speak directly into the microphone. Do not cover your mouth when speaking.
- Presenters should speak clearly at a moderate pace. This practice promotes understanding in the audience and allows sign language interpreters or transcribers time to translate what you are saying.
- If your presentation includes a video, that video MUST be captioned.
- When presentations are recorded, ALDinHE will caption them before making them available after the event is over.
Web accessibility initiative – images
Making presentations accessible for people with disabilities
Checklist for presentation slides and posters
|1.||Uses a sans serif font such as Arial, Verdana, Helvetica or Calibri throughout.|
|2.||Has a minimum main body font size of 24 points|
|3.||Uses left-justified text (apart from headings).|
|4.||Uses a colour that provides a good contrast between the foreground and background. (Check combinations that conform to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 level AA or use the colour palette.)|
|5.||Uses bold for emphasis instead of underlining or italics.|
|6.||Has initial capitalisation rather than full caps, apart from acronyms.|
|7.||Uses a minimum 1.0 line spacing.|
|8.||Uses relevant images to back up teaching points.|
|9.||Has alt text for all images, tables, text boxes, shapes, SmartArt graphics and charts.Instructions for Windows Instructions for Macs|
|10.||Has working hyperlinks that contain meaningful information (if applicable).e.g., ‘Learn more about the ALDinHE professional recognition scheme.’ rather than ‘click here for more information.’|
|11.||Uses numbers or bullet points to break up long sections of text.|
|12.||Uses other features, apart from just colour, to convey meaning.|
|13.||Has a correct reading order for each slide. Instructions for Windows Instructions for Macs|
|14.||Has been checked for any remaining issues using the built-in accessibility (Microsoft PowerPoint only).|
Checklist created by Jennie Dettmer, PAD (SpLD) Tutor, University of Bedfordshire
(Adapted from: British Dyslexia Association, 2014; York St. John University, 2015; Birkbeck, 2019; Government Digital Service, 2019.)
Birkbeck (2019) Birkbeck for All – PowerPoint. Available at: http://app1.its.bbk.ac.uk/xerte2/play.php?template_id=468#page4section1 (Accessed: 11 June 2019).
British Dyslexia Association (2014) Dyslexia Style Guide. Available at: https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/advice/employers/creating-a-dyslexia-friendly-workplace/dyslexia-friendly-style-guide (Accessed 19 March 2019).
Government Digital Service (2019) Publishing Accessible Documents. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-publish-on-gov-uk/accessible-pdfs (Accessed: 14 August 2019).
York St. John University (2015) A guide to dyslexia-friendly PowerPoint. Available at: https://www.yorksj.ac.uk/media/content-assets/student-services/documents/A-Guide-to-Dyslexia-(PowerPoint)-A5.pdf (Accessed: 17 May 2019).