Accessible Presentations – Live Presentations: Physical Space

This week is primarily comprised of questions since there are many variables when it comes to spaces, visuals and sounds. You’ll need to consider the space you have to work with, along with your individual needs during your presentation. Also, you’ll need to consider the overall and individual needs of your audience/class. As Deb mentioned at the end of October, there’s no perfect presentation, but we can all take steps to consider our needs and the resources we have to meet them. There’s room for evaluation and improvement!


Classroom, including student with wheelchair at desk

Image from:

For physical accessibility, consider:

  • Paths of travel: 36”
  • Wheelchair spaces: 36” (wide) x 48” (deep)
  • Seats: At least 5% (but no fewer than 1) which are accessible
  • Room for people to move

Also, think about those things which may create temporary physical barriers. Are students placing personal belongings in paths of travel? Are desks going to be moved for group work? Are there any students with temporary mobility impairments?

Visuals & Sound

Light show on stage

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For accessible visuals and sound, consider:

  • Lighting
  • Visual noise
  • Sizing
  • Descriptions
  • Captions
  • Interpreters

Are there any barriers which make it difficult to see or hear what’s happening? Do any students have sensitivities to visual/audio stimuli? Is there sufficient light for students to write? Are the lights dimmable (or blinds/curtains adjustable) if needed to improve projected presentations or videos? Are there visually distracting images that could be removed from a presentation? Should blinds/curtains be adjusted to minimize visual distractions outside? Are projected words large enough to be seen by everyone in the room? Is everyone able to read what is written on whiteboards? Are there distracting sounds which could be minimized? Is audio adjusted so that everyone is able to hear clearly? Are demonstrations described adequately for those who may not be able to see you clearly or have a visual impairment? Are captions available and/or turned on for videos? Is a transcript available for audio clips if needed? Is a sign language interpreter available if needed?

If you’d like some more questions to consider, I highly recommend Matt’s workshop (Learning Styles and Active Learning Boot Camp) this week: Creating Engaging Presentations!

I’ll be wrapping up accessible presentations next week with Questions & Interaction. If you’d like to consider adding some active learning tools to your presentations or class, I highly recommend Deb’s workshop (Learning Styles and Active Learning Boot Camp) this week: Active Learning Tools!





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