Accessibility Design and Presentations

ErinBlog

rainbow colors

I recently read this article and have been thinking a lot about accessibility design. We have people close to us that have issues with sight and others who have special needs and reading disabilities. It’s important to remember that not everyone in the room with you can interpret information the same way you do. When giving a presentation with slides, it might be important to keep these tips for accessibility in mind to reach everyone in your audience. Design and branding are important, but it’s all important to potentially reach as many people as possible with your workshop/conference/presentation etc.

Make Your Text Bigger

Think about how far your audience is from the projector at the front of the room. Much farther than you are to your laptop when creating the slides. Go big with the text, even the 2nd tier stuff like data labels, legends, footnotes, urls, etc. Everyone will appreciate the bigger font. It will be easier to read for people in the back of the room and the visually impaired.

Use a Readable Font

Think of your audience members with reading difficulties. Handwriting or script fonts are harder to read and using uppercase reduces scan-ability. Some best practices are:

  • San serif is typically most readable.
  • Be generous with spacing especially between letters, words and lines.
  • Use bold for emphasis, not underline and italics.
  • Use mixed caps, not all caps.

Does it make sense in greyscale?

Do a print preview of you slides in black and white. Not everyone has access to or preference for a color printer. There’s also a chance someone in our audience is color blind. Don’t rely on color only to tell your story, use labels, icons and other visual makers as well.

I hope these tips make your presentation more accessible and enjoyable for everyone!

More information on accessible design:

  1. Inclusive Design for Accessible Presentations
  2. British Dyslexia Style Guide 2018
  3. Designing for Accessibility is not that hard