March 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio March 2002 Current Issue
March 2002 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:




The following checklist was compiled with the help of Janice Walker, program logistics specialist for the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems. For more comprehensive guidelines, contact NAPAS, 900 Second St., N.E., Suite 211, Washington, D.C. 20002.


  • Have all materials available in a variety of alternative formats, including large print, braille, audiotape or on disk if necessary.
  • Check to ensure that line spacing is at least one-and-a-half-or double-spaced.
  • Make minimum font size 18 point bold.
  • Compressed fonts and italics are difficult to read. Recommended fonts are helvetica, arial, CG omega or a sans serif font.
  • Use upper- and lower-case letters rather than all capitals.
  • Keep formatting simple. For example, avoid the use of columns.
  • Print on yellow paper or off-white, matte-finish paper to prevent glare.
  • Save all text materials on disk in ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) or ANSI Windows Text, so that the text can be called up into any word-processing program.
  • For large-print documents, the paper should not be larger than standard 8.5-by-11 inches with one-inch margins, and lines of text should be no wider than six inches.
  • When recording material, speak with a clear, crisp reading voice, and read at a moderate speed in a room where there is no background noise.

  • Ensure that each session room is prepared in advance with physical accessibility needs in mind.
  • If the room is set banquet-style, leave enough space for a wheelchair at various tables throughout the room.
  • If the room is set theater-style, leave space for a wheelchair in every other row of seats.
  • If presenting to a small group, set the room in a V-shape instead of a U or in a circle to provide better sight lines and facilitate lip-reading.
  • Check all audiovisual equipment. Make sure overhead projector lights are bright.
  • Ask if there is anyone who needs additional assistance, and direct them to the appropriate person if you are unable to help.

  • Flash lights at the start of a meeting to get the audience’s attention.
  • Avoid exaggerated physical gestures that could be hard to follow.
  • Enunciate clearly, speak slowly without exaggerating and maintain a consistent volume level.
  • Instruct participants to speak one at a time, and ask them to wait until they are acknowledged before commenting or asking a question. This avoids distractions for interpreters and people using listening devices.
  • Ask speakers to be mindful not to talk over one another when presenting on a panel or with another speaker so that those lip-reading or signing can follow the conversation.
  • Repeat all questions when a microphone is not available.
  • Avoid walking in front of interpreters while they are signing.
  • Speak directly to the participant, not the interpreter.
  • Spell unusual terms, names and foreign words.
  • Allow extra time for participants to look at each item when the presenter is finished discussing slides or overhead transparencies, or when referring to handouts. People watching an interpreter cannot examine items at the same time.
  • Ensure that presenters will be facing the audience when they speak, and remind them to keep their hands away from their mouths to accommodate lip-readers.

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