Giving accessible presentations

A few days ago I attended a presentation given by some UK Government departments - the main topic was providing equality of access to government contracts. There was the usual torrent of PowerPoint slides filled with facts, figures and addresses of websites which publish government contracts. 

At the end of the presentations the question and answer session started:

Chief Official: "Does anyone have any questions?"
Lady in Audience: "Will any of the slides be available after the meeting?"
Chief Official: "We'll consult on that afterwards."
Lady in Audience: "I'm blind and none of this information was accessible to me."
Chief Official: "Oh..."
Second Official: "We can translate them into PDF ... or braille."
Third Official: "I can read them out to you ... would that help?"

The officials' discomfort was very obvious, and entirely deserved.

The W3 Web Accessibility Initiative has a very good guide on how to make presentations accessible, but the key point is ask participants if they have any accessibility requirements before giving the presentation.


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