Do you have any advice on how I can make training sessions accessible?

There are a number of things that you can do to make your training sessions more accessible, including:

  • Providing all pre-prepared handout materials in a person's preferred reading format.
  • Forward handouts and materials prior to the course. This may help to cut down the amount of reading time needed during the course discussions or exercises.

Visual Presentations (Powerpoints/Flipcharts/White boards)

  • When using a power point or other visual presentation, you should comment when you are changing slides.
  • Care should be taken to describe any diagrams, models or tables that may be within the slides.
  • Avoid vague references like "this" or "next one" when referencing examples on the slide or slides.
  • Where flipcharts are used for recording points in a discussion, read out what you are writing. Recap what is on the flipchart at the end of the session or when moving to a new flipchart sheet. Remember, blind and partially sighted participants will hear what you are doing and will feel excluded if you do not explain what you are doing.
  • Use black, broad tipped pens on flipcharts. Writing should be large and bold for maximum clarity and contrast. We recommend that white flipchart paper is used.
  • Just like power point presentations, care should be taken to describe any diagrams, models or tables that are being drawn on the flipchart.
  • All pre-prepared flipcharts or overhead slides should also be made available to participants in their preferred format.
  • Some whiteboards are difficult to see because of glare. Where possible you should try to reduce glare by switching off unnecessary lighting or by drawing blinds.
  • Try and stick to black pens when using a white board, rather than using lots of different colours, as some may not stand out as well as others.

Training videos and activities

  • You should be sufficiently familiar with any training videos you are showing, describe the setting and characters to blind and partially sighted participants, so that they do not miss any essential visual information.
  • Supply a pre-prepared synopsis as a guide for blind and partially sighted participants.
  • Activities should be reviewed so that where possible they do not place any participants at a disadvantage, for example observing facial expressions or body language.
  • For overtly visual activities, you could explore options for these to be described verbally. You could do this yourself or arrange for a second tutor or a support worker to be available to provide this detail during the session. It is not usually appropriate to ask other participants to act as a support worker. It's a good idea to discuss options and agree with the participant what their preference is before making any arrangements.

For further information see How do I make my presentations more accessible?

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