ASHE is committed to offering an accessible learning and socializing environment for our attendees. With the annual conference and related events now virtual, this is new territory for our association and we are striving to make it as inclusive as possible.

Event registrants will have the opportunity to add accessibility requests when they register for the conference on the registration form. If you have specific questions prior to registering, please contact ASHE Conference Coordinator James Hines at

ASHE Staff will contact you within two weeks of registration to follow up on special requests and how to ensure the conference is accessible for you.

ASHE Staff can best meet your needs when notified prior to October 15, 2020 for the annual conference and at least three weeks prior to any other event.

While there may be additional ways in which we can make events accessible for individuals, here are preliminary steps we've taken to expand the accessibility of the conference. We will work with each attendee on a case-by-case basis to ensure we provide resources for an accessible conference:
  • The virtual conference platform is compatible with screen reader software. All screen reader software should be set-up on the user's computer prior to logging into the event. 
  • Keynote sessions, the opening and presidential address, and the closing and awards ceremony will be live/closed captioned.
  • Presenters in sessions with attendees who requested live captioning or ASL services will be asked to upload a copy of their presentation at least one week prior to the presentation. ASHE will provide guidance on how to ensure presentations are able to be read through readers.
  • Attendees can request live captioning for sessions through their registration form. ASHE will contact attendees who request live captioning 2 weeks out from the event to finalize their schedule and ensure a live captioner is provided.
  • Attendees can request an ASL Interpreter for sessions through their registration form. ASHE will contact attendees who request an interpreter 2 weeks out from the event to finalize their schedule and ensure an interpreter is provided.
  • For sessions that are recorded, any attendee can request these to be closed captioned. ASHE will provide closed captioning within 5 business days of the request, but usually within 48 hours.
For other events (e.g., pre-conferences, professional development events), we will work with individuals on a case by case basis to meet accessibility needs.

Sign Language Interpretation

Some sessions will have sign language. In these sessions, the interpreter will be shown in a large video feed.

Break Out Sessions

Some sessions will require break out rooms for further discussion and session activities. The ASHE Staff will work with individual registrants with live captioning needs to determine the process to ensure the captioner is with the registrant throughout the session. 

Presenter Accessibility Guidelines

Digital Presentation Requirements 
Accessible presentations help all participants easily engage with content, including participants with visual impairments or participants who speak English as a second language.

Making Your Presentation Accessible:

  • Use sans serif fonts (a.k.a. fonts without small lines or strokes attached to the end of their larger strokes). Good examples are Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Calibri, and Antique Olive.
  • All materials, including PowerPoints, must use 20pt + font size. Use bold, underlining, and “quotation marks” for words and phrases needing emphasis rather than italics, which are less visually accessible. Do not use shadows on text.
  • Font and background colors should have high contrast, meaning light font on a dark background or dark font on a light background. Never use gray as it is the least accessible color for participants with visual impairments due to its lack of contrast with every color, including white.
  • All images related to presentations (non-decorative) should have alt text provided. Alt text is a brief description of the image that can be attached in PowerPoint. For added accessibility, describe images and how they relate to the presentation.
  • Report the use of loud music or flashing images, video, and/or lights during your presentation so participants with sensory issues can plan accordingly.
Presentation Guidelines:

Accessible presentations go beyond formatting to consider the physical and  technical aspects of a meeting. Key elements for presenters to consider: 

  • Quality internet connection
  • Clear and consistent audio and video - Good lighting on face and upper body (well-lit, but not washed out) - Avoid distracting backgrounds, bright sun, and flashing lights 
  • Speak clearly and at a reasonable pace - Pause between topics and when you ask for questions so participants have time to process and react to information 
  • Describe images, video, and audio and how they connect with your presentation

We will continue to update our Accessibility Resources page as we finalize the creation of our virtual platform.

If you have questions, please contact ASHE Conference Coordinator James Hines at or Executive Director Jason Guilbeau at or (202) 660-4106.