SITT Presenter Accessibility Guide

Thank you for contributing to the Summer Institute on Teaching and Technology! UC Davis is committed to making experiences as inclusive as possible for everyone in the campus community, so we’ve compiled this brief accessibility guide as an aid while you prepare your presentation.

In addition to the recommendations in this guide, most presentation programs have built-in accessibility checkers to flag issues within slides and handouts:


Ponder A “Plus 1” Strategy

At first glance, accessibility can feel overwhelming, but if you can enhance even one aspect of your materials, the entire audience will benefit from your efforts. Thinking about what you already do to accommodate diverse audiences, consider adding even one new accessibility practice from this guide. Over time, these iterations add up to significant gains for audiences who benefit from accessible practices.

Create accessible slides and handouts

  • Use an easy-to-read font face, such as Arial, Proxima, or New Times Roman. 
  • Use a text size that will make slide content legible for those who have medium or small screens (minimum font size 14).
  • Use adequate color contrast between text and background colors, or within graphics. This list of color contrast resources can help you check your materials, and feel free to use UC Davis branding colors in accessible combinations.
  • Add slide numbers to your presentation deck to easily reference aloud for those following along on alternative formats like PDFs. 
  • Limit motion and animation to moments where they add impact or value to your presentation (source on motions / animations in presentations). Animations in slides will not be in motion when slides are made into accessible PDFs, and might even conceal other content.
  • For handouts, consider these tips, especially for those who use screen readers for visual disabilities:

Share accessible PDF versions of slides and handouts prior to your talk

  • This will improve the accessibility of the event for those who benefit from alternatives to Zoom’s shared screen feature.
  • Please submit those accessible PDFs to us, along with your video, and we will post them on our SITT site.


Present with accessibility in mind

  • Make sure you have a good microphone and are well-lit.
  • Announce slide numbers while presenting so attendees can follow along in their own format / copy of your slides as needed.
  • Briefly describe images on slides if they contain relevant information before discussing the rest of the content. 
  • Live presenters: Read or restate questions from the chat before answering them live.

For assistance: If you would like more details about any of these recommendations, the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative lists concrete, actionable ways to make presentations accessible to all

Contact to schedule a consultation about any of these recommendations, ideally in July or early August to allow enough time before the event and content submission deadlines.

Many thanks to Joshua Hori and Hannah Minter Anderson for sharing their expertise and feedback to improve this guide!