Accessibility Guidelines

Please keep in mind that you may not have direct knowledge of existing accessibility issues among your audience or the people with whom you interact. In order for the conference to be as inclusive as possible, all presenters and attendees should follow the accessibility guidelines listed below.


Before Your Presentation

  • Prepare an access copy of your presentation, whether print or digital. An access copy should provide a transcript of your talk or paper; however, if you do not read from a paper directly, you can provide access to your slides or an outline of your talk instead.
    • You are welcome to distribute printed access copies at the start of your talk. You may choose to collect them again at the end.
    • Electronic access copies should be hosted on the individual’s preferred cloud platform (Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.). Share the link (please use a shortened URL and/or QR code) at the start of your talk. You can also choose to share the link on the conference’s Whova app before and/or during your presentation, such as in your profile or the chat for your panel.
    • To address concerns about unauthorized distribution of access copies, note that on most cloud platforms, you can restrict viewers’ ability to download, print, or copy-and-paste text from your shared file; for example, please see these instructions for restricting sharing options on Google Drive files.
    • If you’d like to share your access copies digitally but are not sure how to start, please view this tutorial video on using Google Drive and TinyURL (created by the Accessibility Committee).
    • Attendees should also take note that all access copies are under the sole copyright of their respective owners and should not be shared without the express permission of the presenter. 
  • For designing slides:
    • Do not use Prezi or other media with motion, zoom, or strobe effects, as these pose accessibility problems. PowerPoint or a similar slide program is recommended.
    • Use a high-contrast color scheme, i.e. black background with white font or the reverse.
    • Use a sans-serif font, such as Arial. Maintain a font size of 18-point or larger.
    • Provide minimal text on each slide. 
  • If you want to provide any additional links or resources, you should provide them in your access copies.

During Your Presentation

  • Please use the microphone provided, regardless of room size and the volume of speaking voice. Please ensure that your microphone is close to your mouth when speaking. Presenters have the choice to sit or stand, and microphones will accommodate either option.
  • When speaking, always face the audience; this is especially helpful for audience members who are lip readers.
  • Speak at a moderate pace, neither too slowly nor too quickly. 
  • Verbally describe all images, graphs, charts, or video included in your slides.  
    • Here are two resources with guidelines for image description: one basic and one more in-depth.
  • If you think your presentation may contain potentially sensitive content, consider giving a trigger or content warning.
  • During Q & A, either you or the panel chair should repeat each question from the audience into the microphone before answering.  


Moderators are responsible for following the presenter guidelines and for ensuring that all presenters do the same. In addition, moderators are asked to facilitate access by implementing the practices below:

  • Before the session, ask panelists if they have any accessibility needs, and check in with panelists about their plans for providing access copies.
  • At the beginning of the session, as a part of your introduction, please read the access statement below: “A quick reminder to follow the accessibility guidelines that have been posted on the ChLA Conference website. For presenters, this includes facing the audience, speaking clearly into the mic, and verbally describing all images. Presenters will also be sharing access copies. Please remember that these copies are not available for citation or distribution unless you have received the prior permission of the presenter.”
  • During the presentations, do your best to address any access barriers and needs as they arise. 
  • During the Q & A, either you or the presenter should repeat each question from the audience into the microphone to ensure that everyone can hear it. 


  • Please avoid using scented products while at the conference.
  • Individuals attending sessions should feel free to stand, move about, get water, or vocalize as necessary during presentations.
  • If a service dog is present, be sure to approach the dog calmly and ask its human partner before addressing or touching the dog.
  • Do not touch or otherwise interfere with other attendees’ assistive devices such as canes, wheelchairs, walkers, listening devices etc., unless explicitly asked.


For 2024 we will once again have a whole fleet of liaisons onsite at the Conference to support our members with disabilities as well as those with chronic illness, mental illness, and/or learning disabilities get their access needs met. They will also be available to help ChLA members follow the accessibility guidelines. More information on Accessibility Liaisons and how to reach them onsite will be provided as we get closer to the Conference. 

 Conference Home Page