ASA strives to make its Annual Conference accessible to ensure full participation
by persons with disabilities. Each presentation or session should be designed
and conducted with the full participation of all ASA members and student
affiliates in mind. Therefore, ASA requests that all presenters review the
following information and take the steps necessary to make all programming
accessible to their respective audiences.
Considerations for all Members of Your Audience
Remember that disabilities may not always be visible or obvious. It is
wise to assume there will be some members of your audience who will
have trouble seeing visual aids (such as slides, overheads, etc.) and/or
some who will have difficulty hearing what is said.
For large audiences, it is helpful to reserve a few front row seats
for those individuals who may not have the best possible opportunity
to see and hear the presentation otherwise, and several seats in the
rear for easy entry and exit.
When making slide presentations, images should be projected high enough
to be fully visible to all persons seated.
All speakers should use a microphone whenever possible as there will
be people in the audience who have difficulty hearing and/or who use
hearing aid devices.
Considerations for Persons who are Blind or Visually Impaired
Visual aids must be accompanied by an oral narrative. Describe in
detail the information that is being presented on the overhead projector
Any printed materials that are to be used by a presenter (such as handouts,
articles, slides, and overhead projector transparencies) should be available
in a format that meets the needs of an individual who is blind or visually
impaired (such as braille, large print, or on diskette). When creating
large print documents, most sources recommend using an 18 point, bold,
plain font, such as Helvetica, on paper that does not produce a glare.
Check for adjustable lighting in the meeting room; this is particularly
important for people with low vision.
Caution against relying solely on oral presentations and gestures to
illustrate a point, or using visual points of reference (e.g., “here”
Considerations for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- People who are deaf or hard of hearing need to sit where they can see
the speaker easily. When using an interpreter, they must be able to
see both the speaker and the interpreter. For most sessions, there will
be a minimum of two interpreters. The interpreter may stand close to
the speaker or within a direct line of sight to allow viewing of both
the speaker and the interpreter within a quick glance. Speakers should
remain aware of the location of interpreters and attempt to keep this
line of vision clear. Interpreters will generally give significant environmental
sounds, such as laughing, as well as various directions and cues.
- Allow extra time when referring to a visual aid or handout or when pointing
out the location of materials because the listener must look, then return
attention to the speaker/interpreter for further information.
- When presenting, avoid talking in a darkened area of the room or platform.
It is important to continually provide a direct and clear view of your
mouth and face.
- Repeat all questions or statements from the audience. This practice
is also helpful for individuals who are hard-of-hearing. Questions or
statements should always be repeated when sessions are being taped since
the microphones for the speakers will often fail to pick up voices in
the audience. In dialogues or discussion, have one person speak at a
time, and identify the speaker so that audience members or those listening
to the tape will know who is talking.
- When not using an overhead projector, turn it off. This reduces background
noise and helps focus audience attention on you, the speaker.
- Speak clearly and distinctly, but do not exaggerate. Use normal speed
unless asked to slow down.
Considerations for Persons with Mobility Impairments
- Keep front seats and rear of room clear for persons who may be using
wheelchairs, canes, crutches, or motorized vehicles. This dramatically
aids in access for your audience.
Information on this page adapted with permission from the American Psychological Association website on Disability Issues.
For Services at the Annual Meeting:
If you have a disability that may impede your participation, please
check the box on the registration form and send a statement regarding
your disability-related needs with your registration. Someone from
the ASA Meetings Department will contact you prior to JSM to discuss
your needs. Availability of appropriate accommodations cannot be
ensured without prior notification.