Institute for Academic Development
Institute for Academic Development

Lectures

Information on making different aspects of lectures more accessible.

Lectures are one of the University’s most popular methods of undergraduate teaching. They bring together a large group of students to receive teaching. However, this method of delivery is sometimes difficult to personalise. Building in these accessibility features will enable students to more easily access your lectures.

How can I make my PowerPoints accessible?

Some students with specific learning difficulties can find PowerPoint slides challenging to view. However, a few very small adjustments can ensure that they are accessible to the majority of students!

Text: it is preferable to use left-hand aligned black text on a cream coloured background, using a minimum text size 30, and a Sans Serif Font (try Arial or Verdana) will help your PowerPoint’s be accessible to dyslexic students.

Emphasis: it is tempting to use underlining, italics, block capitals or colour to indicate priority or emphasis, but all of these things can make it difficult to be viewed by disabled students. Instead use bold to emphasise.

Animation: sound effects and animation (such as the zooming effects produced by Prezi presentation software) look great, but can be disorientating and difficult to view. Try and keep slide transitions to a simple fade.

Structure: separating text out into short paragraphs or bullet points will ensure that reading is easier and less intimidating for those who struggle with large volumes of text.

How do I make my hand-outs accessible?

Text: it is preferable to use left-hand aligned black text on a cream coloured background, using a minimum text size 12, and a Sans Serif Font (try Arial or Verdana) will help your documents to be accessible to dyslexic students.

Emphasis: it is sometimes tempting to use underlining, italics, block capitals or colour to indicate priority or emphasis, but all of these things can make it difficult to be viewed by disabled students. Instead use bold to emphasise.

Structure: separating text out into short paragraphs or bullet points will ensure that reading is easier and less intimidating for those who struggle with large volumes of text.

Style: Use style mark-up for all documents, to ensure they are easily read by assistive technologies (use the built-in styles for headings and sub-headings, do not just make the font size larger).

Multimedia

Consider providing text transcripts of audio and video files to assist students with vision or hearing impairments. While adding transcripts retrospectively may be burdensome, you should try to provide them routinely for any new materials in this format.

Accessible videos and Subtitling

Wherever possible subtitling increases accessibility for students who have difficulty hearing.

Many DVDs have this function already built in, and subtitles can quickly and easily be added to recordings uploaded to YouTube.

Delivery

Despite best efforts some students will have difficulties accessing materials because everyone’s learning needs are different. Therefore it is good practice to ensure your teaching is delivered through a mixture of complementary materials.

For example, if you rely on text from a PowerPoint slide, you should ensure that you read out lecture slides as you go along for those who for struggle to read the text.