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Inclusion: The active engagement of people with disabilities as service members in all levels of national and community service

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Tips for Presenting in Audiences with People with Disabilities

The following are some tips to ensure that your presentation is accessible to everyone in your audience. Remember that everyone in your audience is there because your workshop has value to them- everyone should have access to all of the information, comments, and questions that are part of a good workshop.

  1. Before you begin, make sure that everyone has the accommodations they need: Are the listening systems working? Is large print/Braille available? Can everyone see the interpreters?
  2. Face the audience.
  3. Keep your mouth and face free of obstructions such as hands, microphone, and papers.
  4. If you tend to speak quickly or softly, please slow down and speak up. There is a short delay when using interpreters or captioners.
  5. If you are using visual aids- PowerPoint, flip charts, slides - take a moment to describe the visual message, e.g., "This chart compares the number of apples to the number of oranges." "There is a flower in the upper-right-hand corner."
  6. Use "people first" language, e.g.,"people with disabilities", or "people with developmental disabilities."
  7. If someone who has a speech disability is speaking, wait calmly for him or her to finish. Do not interrupt them. If you do not understand them, ask them to repeat their statement or question. If you still do not understand, restate what you did understand, and ask for more information.
  8. If interpreters are being used, face the person using the interpreter, not the interpreter.
  9. If someone has a personal attendant, address him or her, not the attendant.
  10. Restate questions before answering.

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©The National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) is a training and technical assistance provider on disability inclusion. NSIP partners with the Association on University Centers on Disability, National Council on Independent Living, Association on Higher Education and Disability and National Down Syndrome Congress to build connections between disability organizations and all CNCS grantees, including national directs, to increase the participation of people with disabilities in national service.