TASC Conference

Guidelines for Speakers






·         Handouts. Documents useful for participants to have in front of them in order to follow a presentation (e.g., an outline of a presentation; PowerPoint slides; statutory language or essential definitions that are the subject of a presentation).


·         Resource Materials. Reference materials not needed in order to follow a presentation that participants read after attending the Conference (e.g., pleadings, research articles, studies). These are only provided electronically on the Conference CD.


·         Page limit for handouts. The maximum number of pages for handouts is 50 (25 sheets of paper printed back-to-back) for each 90-minute workshop / 200 for each all-day Institute. This reduces the costs of providing handouts, and gives participants less materials to pack when traveling back home.

·         Conference CD.  Persons attending the conference receive at Registration a copy of the Conference CD with all of the handouts and resource materials on it. To create accessible copies of handouts, and make the Conference CDs, all handouts and resource materials are submitted to TASC by presenters by the deadline:  February 1, 2009.   





We depend on your assistance to provide a fully accessible conference for everyone.


Visual Accessibility for Persons who Have Low Vision or are Blind


·         Keep lights on at all times, even when using a video.


·         Alternative formats. All handouts (anything handed out during the conference) must be available in alternative formats; i.e., large print (minimum 18 pt font), Braille, and an  electronic version on a CD.

o   Handouts not available in alternative formats cannot be used during the conference.

o   TASC will provide your materials in alternative formats IF an electronic copy is received by the deadline for submitting handouts:  2-01-09.

o   Anyone bringing handouts without submitting them to TASC by the deadline must bring:  50 standard-size copies (minimum 12 pt font), 3 large-print copies (minimum 18 pt font), a  Braille copy, and electronic copies on 2 CDs.


·         Fonts. All documents, including PowerPoints, must use a san serif font such as: Arial, Tahoma, Verbena, Helvetica (NOT Times New Roman). The minimum font size is 12 pt for standard-size copies, 18 pt for large print copies.


·         PowerPoints

o   Use a sans serif fonts that is at least 22 pt.

o   A light background with dark text is preferred.

o   Use a plain background without any watermark, photo, or design behind the text.

o   Use it as an outline for your presentation, using short sentences and/or bulleted phrases (about 4 lines of text/no more than 40 words per slide). Avoid long sentences.

o   Keep it short. As a rule of thumb, 1 slide for every 2 minutes of speaking time.

o   Photographs, images, clip art, graphics, maps, and charts cannot be read by screen readers. They need an Alt text embedded in them, and/or need to be verbally described during the presentation.


·         Videos. Only videos with open captioning can be used.


Auditory Accessibility for Persons who a Deaf or Hard of Hearing


·         Always use a microphone when speaking, and ask participants to do the same.

·         Face participants when speaking, so people who read lips can understand you.

·         Sign-language interpreters.

o   Speak clearly and slowly when an interpreter is present.

o   Keeps lights on at all times, even when using a PowerPoint or a video.

o   When conversing with someone who uses an interpreter, speak directly to the person, not the interpreter.


Physical Accessibility


·         Do not re-arrange tables and chairs in the room. Rooms have been set-up to provide maximum accessibility and seating choices for persons who use wheelchairs.

·         Do not block doorways, and keep floors clear of personal belongings.



III. Language: Use people first neutral language


·         Don’t Use: 

o   “a disabled person”

o   “handicapped people”

o   “retarded persons”

o   “the mentally ill”

·         Use:  

o   “an individual with a disability”

o   “a person who has a cognitive disability”

o   “a people [living] with mental illness”


Note:  “Intellectual disability” is the current term for what used to be called “mental retardation” and more recently “developmental disability.” 



III.  Culturally Competent Presentations


Culturally competent presentations:


·         acknowledges and accepts that cultural differences exist and have an impact on service delivery.

·         acknowledges that, when working with different cultures, process is as important as product.

·         respects the unique, culturally-defined needs of various client populations.

·         acknowledges culture as a predominant force in shaping behaviors, values and institutions.

·         acknowledges and appreciates that traditional support systems (i.e. family, community, religious institutes, etc.) act as a primary mechanism of support for communities of color.

·         recognizes that the concepts of “family”, “community” etc., are different for various cultures and even for subgroups within cultures.

·         believes that diversity within cultures is as important as diversity between cultures.

·         functions with the awareness that the dignity of the person is not guaranteed unless the dignity of his/her people is preserved.

·         understands when there may be a cultural conflict with dominant society values.

·         recognizes that communication styles/methods may differ among various cultures, yet can be equally effective in developing solutions to problems.

·         recognizes that communities of color encounter unique barriers in the dominant society.

·         acknowledges the need for cultural negotiation when interacting on a cross cultural level.

·         recognizes that there is no such thing as a culture free interaction between individuals.