Inclusive Design for Accessible Presentations

September 18, 2019

Inclusive Design for Accessible Presentations

When you prepare for your next workshop or presentation, use these tips on how to tweak your slides so that everyone gets the most out of it, especially for individuals who are visually impaired…

Is your slide font readable? The World Blind Union (WBU) highly suggests using sans serif font types such as Helvetica, Arial, and Verdana. Unlike serif typefaces, these font styles do not have small finishing strokes, which makes them more legible and readable for people with low vision and dyslexia. A 32-point size font is the ideal text size to use in most room settings. This is so that near-sighted people can understand what you are pointing to, even from a distance.

Steer clear from moving text effects such as “Fly In,” “Bounce,” “Spiral,” or “Zoom.” Partially sighted audiences wait for the text to stop moving before they can start reading it. Animations and effects might not sit well with visually impaired people, so keep them at a minimum. 

There is also a good chance that someone in your audience is color-blind. If you have used red text for negative items and green text for positive items mixed together in a single list, they may not be able to tell them apart. If the datasets in your graphs only use color to differentiate, think about using patterns or labels to tell each bar, line or pie segment apart.

Applying these tips will make a big difference for your whole audience. Your slide design can affect how well the crowd gets your message, if at all. This is particularly true for those with physical and cognitive conditions. Having an inclusive design to your presentation will allow attendees to get the most out of your hard work.