Creating accessible lectures/tutorials
Guidance for anyone lecturing or giving presentations with quick, practical advice and tips to make these as accessible as possible.
Before the lecture/talk
- To assist individuals with hearing impairments make sure the hearing induction loop is switched on. (Hearing loops should always be left switched on, but sometimes get switched off by mistake. There should be a unit under the desk labelled hearing loop which is switched on at the wall). Make sure you use the microphone (this is a requirement of the Accessible and Inclusive Learning Policy)
- Try and limit background noise as much as possible.
- Be familiar with the lighting in the room and ensure there is always sufficient light to take notes.
- When cancelling lectures or making room changes it is good practice to give this information in two or more ways e.g. wiki, email, notice on the door etc.
During the lecture/talk
Guidance is available at the following Information Services website on creating accessible PowerPoints.
- It may be helpful to provide an overview at the beginning and summary at the end.
- Try and pause to summarise at regular intervals and to allow attendees to ask questions.
- It is good practice to repeat all questions or comments raised in case other attendees did not hear what was being asked.
- To assist those individuals who are lip-reading it is important to face the audience and try not to stand with your back to a window (the light will make it difficult for people who are lip-reading).
- Use the microphone. The University requires that all lecturers do this.
- Allow users to audio record lectures/talks. The University has allowed all students the right to do this.
- Most of this is common sense e.g. ensuring clips are audible and can be clearly seen from the back of the room.
- Some multimedia clips may come with closed captions (subtitles). Ensure these are enabled so individuals with hearing impairments can follow the clip.
- Some attendees may have helpers with them who will be able to provide spoken commentary to an individual where required. This should not disrupt the other attendees.
End of the lecture/talk
- We would suggest were possible that you give two methods by which people can contact you e.g. email and phone number and make sure they are written down and spoken (in case the student does not hear them correctly).
- Encourage people to contact you if they have accessibility issues. You should not be inundated with suggestions but some people may have a couple of suggestions which would be cheap and simple to achieve and would make the lectures/talks more accessible for them.
- It is University policy that lecture outlines or PowerPoint presentation slides for lectures and seminars must be made available at least 24 hours in advance of the class. This applies to all students not just disabled students.
- It is University policy that key words and formulae are to be provided to students at least 24 hours before the class.
- A small number of people may require handouts in alternative formats e.g. large print. If they are a student, this will have been recorded in their student learning profile created by the Student Disability Service, which will have been passed to the School’s Coordinator of Adjustments who will have informed the course administer who should have informed you. If you are speaking to non-students then it is good practice to ask in advance if anyone wishes the handouts in alternative formats. Creating alternative formats is quick and easy and Information Services has produced guidance to help you do this:
For further information on any of the above or to request this page in an alternative format please contact the Disability Information Officer.
BSL users can contact me via contactSCOTLAND-BSL, the on-line British Sign Language interpreting service. Find out more on the contactSCOTLAND website.
For information on recording lectures or student learning profiles please contact the Student Disability Service.