Access Guidelines for Session Organizers and Panelists

The ASA is committed to making arrangements that allow all association members to participate in the conference. Therefore, we request that all session organizers and presenters review the information below and take the necessary steps to make their sessions accessible to attendees with permanent or temporary disabilities. Panel chairs and organizers should be especially aware of these guidelines in their sessions, and should integrate these guidelines into the panel-organizing process throughout the year leading up to the conference. These guidelines are designed to provide access for attendees with disabilities but will benefit all convention participants.

Room Setup

There is space for two wheelchairs in each meeting room. Please keep this area, the door, and the aisles clear for persons using wheelchairs, canes, crutches, or motorized vehicles. People who are deaf or hard of hearing and who use sign language interpreters or read lips should sit where they can see both the speakers and the interpreter. The interpreter may stand close to the speaker within a direct line of sight that allows the audience to view both the speaker and the interpreter. Speakers should be aware of the location of interpreters and attempt to keep this line of vision clear.

Papers, Handouts, and Audiovisuals

Speakers should bring five copies of their papers, even in draft form, for the use of members who wish, or need, to follow a written text. Speakers who use handouts should prepare some copies in large-print format (14- or 16-point font size) and briefly describe all handouts to the audience. Avoid colored papers. Include subtitles for any audio/visual components. Speakers should indicate where to return their papers and handouts. Allow ample time when referring to a visual aid or handout or when pointing out the location of materials. When not using an overhead projector, turn it off. This reduces background noise and helps focus attention on the speaker.

Communication/Presentation Style

Speak clearly and distinctly, but do not shout. Use regular speed unless asked to slow down. Because microphones often fail to pick up voices in the audience, speakers should always repeat questions or statements made by members of the audience. In dialogues or discussions, only one person should speak at a time, and speakers should identify themselves so that audience members know who is speaking. Avoid speaking from a darkened area of the room. Some people read lips, so the audience should have a direct and clear view of the speaker’s mouth and face.