professional development activities (conferences, seminars, workshops,
training sessions), you will need to consider the needs of disabled
individuals who will be in attendance. Contact the Adaptive
Needs/Accommodations Chair for more details:
Angela Stowe, 205-414-3861,
Included here are
the guidelines for ensuring your public presentations, workshops,
seminars, and other events are accessible and meet the needs of
Make sure your
presentations are accessible to all members of your audience, including
individuals with disabilities. When you are coordinating workshops that
have outside presenters, please provide them with this information so
that they can ensure their presentation is accessible to all.
Approximately 1 in 5
Americans have a disability. This means that when you present to any
audience, that it is guaranteed that someone in the audience will have a
disability. While some may have visible and obvious disabilities, most
have invisible disabilities. This includes learning disabilities,
attention deficit disorders, systemic disabilities, and traumatic brain
There are many things
you can do as a presenter to ensure that you can have an effective
presentation for the most members of your audience. Here are some tips:
Face the audience when speaking. Many individuals with hearing or
attention disorders depend on seeing your face for information.
Individuals with ADD, ADHD, or learning disabilities also rely on
watching someone speak to understand the material.
Repeat or re-word
lengthy or complex oral directions.
Always try to preview and summarize content during each session.
Make sure your Power Point slides contain no more than 3 ideas. One of
the biggest mistakes people make is to put too much information on a
slide. This makes it difficult for the audience to read and follow.
When creating a slide, remember: "less is more." Also make sure the colors you use are high
contrast so not to cause strain on the participants’ eyes.
If you use a board to describe information, complete some examples in
advance. Or examples can be presented by using overhead projectors,
Power Point, or web sites.
Make your handouts accessible: Use at least a 14 point font. Do not
use a font smaller than 12 points, as it makes reading difficult for
many when they have to strain. It's more important to have the material
readable than to have it all fit neatly on 1 page.
Make sure handouts are printed in high contrast (white with black print;
yellow with black, etc.).
Read aloud information presented on the board or overhead. Also, try to
have printed copies of board or overhead information available.
Repeat questions and comments from audience members. Repetition affords
participants with sensory and cognitive disabilities an opportunity to
clarify and/or gain information that may have been missed.
Always try to present key terms and concepts visually as well as orally.
ACCOMMODATING INDIVIDUALS WITH
Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires that
non-profit organizations that provide services for professionals
(including courses for licensure and certification) make programs and
services accessible to persons with disabilities.
Accessibility includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Provide the event in an accessible location.
Provide auxiliary aids (such as a sign language interpreter, real-time
captionist, large-print handouts, or handouts in alternative format –
such as an electronic format).
WHAT THIS MEANS FOR US
All ALCA chapters and divisions are required by law to provide
accommodations to individuals with disabilities. All workshops and
conferences, therefore, must be accessible by all people.
If you receive a request for an accommodation, such as an interpreter,
you must provide that accommodation.
If you plan to show videos, ensure that those are captioned.
If you have handouts, have handouts that are enlarged (18pt. font of
Workshop registration forms: Include a section on registration forms that
handles requests for accommodations such as enlarged handouts,
interpreting or captioning services.
Large-print copies: Go ahead and make some enlarged copies of program
materials and have them available. If your presenters are bringing
their own materials, you may ask them to go ahead and make a few in
large print (enlarge 150% or 18 point font). There are others who can
benefit from this service (anyone with vision problems, not just someone
with a disability).
Captioning of videos: Any video that will be used should be captioned.
Most commercially-produced videos are already captioned and need to have
the feature turned on through the menu options of the television set.
If you do not provide the accommodation, you will be out
of compliance with the law. In order to not provide an accommodation
for someone, you must be able to demonstrate that to provide the
accommodation significantly alters the format of the presentation or
that it is an undue burden. Divisions and chapters will not be able to
claim the expense as an undue burden because the Office of Civil Rights
(who enforces the ADA) will look to the budget of ALCA (and possibly ACA)
for funds, not each individual division.
Resources for locating interpreters and captionists:
Local universities and colleges, Disability Services Offices
Local Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services
Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (www.aidb.org)
Good practices for
Fliers and Promotional
Materials: Be sure to include a statement about how individuals with
disabilities need to request accommodations.
Make sure all handouts
are printed in large font (14 point or larger) and on high contrast
Any movies, meetings,
activities, trips, etc. are prepared to provide appropriate
accommodations (e.g. closed-captioning, sign language interpreters,
Have any applications,
forms, handouts available in alternative formats (online, CD, e-mail
options, large print).
Any event or meeting
space needs to be able to accommodate someone in a wheelchair.
If an individual
requests a sign language interpreter or a captionist, be sure to book
this resource as soon as possible. See previous page for resources.
If someone requests a
wheelchair for a particular event, you are not responsible for providing
You are not
responsible for providing personal services such as personal aides,
tutors, or transportation. However, you should allow someone to provide
their own personal aide.
Be sure all of your
presenters for workshops, conferences and meetings have been given the
handout, “Presenting Accessibly,” so you can ensure that your offerings
are accessible to all.
doubt, contact the ALCA Adaptive Needs/Accommodations Chair for more
Angela Stowe, 205-414-3861,
[Information Provided by Dr. Angela Stowe]