Accessibility

ASHE is committed to offering an accessible learning and socializing environment for attendees. In addition, a Strategic Workgroup on Accessibility is working on both short and long-term policies and procedures to make ASHE more accessible. Accessibility is an individual and ongoing process. We strive to make presenting and attending as inclusive as possible. Here are preliminary measures we have taken to expand conference accessibility. We recognize that there may be additional ways in which we can make events accessible for individuals. We will work with each attendee on a case-by-case basis to ensure we provide resources for an accessible conference.

Attendees can include information in their registration form and/or contact ASHE Director of Conference and Events, Sendi Brewster, directly at sendi@ashe.ws. Doing so prior to September 30 allows the ASHE Staff ample time to make necessary accommodations.


General Conference Accessibility (In-Person)

  • The Opening Session and Presidential Address as well as the two keynote addresses will be live captioned in-person and through the Virtual Ticket.

  • Event registrants will have the opportunity to add accessibility requests when they register for an event. ASHE Staff can best meet needs when notified at least 3 weeks prior to any event. ASHE will contact attendees who provide any accessibility requests within two weeks of registration. Attendees can request communication access (interpreting or CART) for in-person and/or virtual sessions through their registration form. 

  • The 2021 ASHE Conference Headquarters Hotel will be the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino. All accessibility information for the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino can be found on the website at: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/sjusi-sheraton-puerto-rico-hotel-and-casino/

  • Meeting spaces are located on one floor of the hotel and are accessible via elevator, escalator, and stairs. 

  • A lactation room will be available during the ASHE conference. More information will be provided in October.

  • All Gender Restrooms: ASHE recognizes that single-gender restrooms reinforce a binary understanding of sex assigned at birth and/or gender expression and thus exclude some ASHE members. To be consistent with ASHE’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity, many of our headquarters hotels’ restrooms, which are usually assigned as “men’s” and “women’s,” are converted to All-Gender Restrooms in an attempt to alleviate the fear of harassments and threats to individual users. Throughout the conference, restrooms on the second floor of the headquarters hotel will be All Gender Restrooms and available to all conference attendees inclusive of gender identity and expression. All-Gender Restrooms will be clearly marked with signs outside of each restroom entrance.  

  • In creating menus, ASHE strives to ensure there are a variety of acceptable food preference options. If you have specific food allergies or dietary restrictions, please include this on your registration form. If menu options do not meet a conference attendee’s dietary needs, please notify any hotel server and they can provide an alternative option.

  • Any on-site accessibility concerns can be brought to the attention of the ASHE Staff (located at the Conference Help Desk) or a hotel staff member. A Conference Ombuds will be available for issues that may arise amongst and between attendees; more information about the Ombuds will be available closer to the conference.

  • Please do not place your personal belongings or bags in the front row or near electrical outlets as people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or captionists might need those spaces. 


General Conference (Virtual Ticket) and Pre-Conference (Virtual) Accessibility

  • The Virtual Ticket & Pre-Conference website (PlaybackASHE.com) 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. 

  • Virtual events will be captioned with AI transcribing from Zoom Live Transcripts. Attendees can request communication access (interpreting or CART) for sessions through their registration form. Some sessions will require break-out rooms for further discussion and session activities that are not able to be transcribed through the Zoom AI Service; the ASHE Staff will work with individual registrants using communication access to determine the process to ensure the captioner or interpreter is with the registrant throughout the session. 

  • For sessions that are recorded, captions will be available on the recorded presentation. The captioning is provided through Otter.ai. 

  • Event registrants will have the opportunity to add accessibility requests when they register for an event. ASHE Staff can best meet your needs when notified at least 3 weeks prior to any event. ASHE will contact attendees who provide any accessibility requests within two weeks of registration. 


Suggestions For Making Your PowerPoint Presentation Accessible 

  • We strongly recommend using PowerPoint to design your presentation (rather than Prezi or Canva or Google Slides). PowerPoint is typically the easiest to navigate as well as provides the most support for designing an accessible presentation.

  • Presentation slides should make sense if they are printed out.


​Tips on making your Presentation Accessible:

Font

Sans serif fonts such as Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Calibri, and Antique Olive

Font Size

32pt + font size (except for charts and tables, see below). This is larger than PowerPoint’s default, but it ensures that text is viewable at any distance and that a slide does not overload the viewer with information. If your text is overflowing the box or slide, consider splitting it up into multiple slides. 

Font Size (Charts and Tables

24+. Charts should have alternative text descriptions, tables should have a clear header row or the first row describing the content that is in the columns below it.

Avoid Italics

Use bold, underlining, and “quotation marks” for words and phrases needing emphasis rather than italics, which are less visually accessible. 

Shadows

Do not use shadows on text.

Colors

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 attendees with visual impairments due to its lack of contrast with every color, including white. When creating graphs or visual displays please remember that some people cannot distinguish between specific colors (e.g., red/green). 

Image Alt Text

Images related to presentations (non-decorative) should have alternative  text provided. Alternative text is a brief description of the image that can be attached in PowerPoint. 

Music, Images, Video

Avoid the use of loud music or flashing images, video, and/or lights during your presentation, but if necessary, let attendees know prior to the beginning of the presentation so attendees with sensory issues can plan accordingly.

GIFs

Avoid GIFS, animations, and moving transitions. These can cause migraines or nausea in some people. 

Video Captioning

If including a video, make sure captions are included.

    


Suggestions For Presenting in an Accessible Way 

  • Fully engaging in a presentation is different for each attendee. Whether presenting in-person or virtually, the clarity of your presentation is important. 

    • When presenting in person, use the microphone so that audience members, members listening to the recording afterward through OnDemand, and communication access providers can clearly understand you. 

    • If presenting online, use a location with limited background noise so that the AI-generated captions and communication access providers can work effectively.  Use a microphone, such as the built-in microphone, a USB microphone, or an inline microphone on headphones. Test your microphone settings prior to your session starting.

  • Speaking quickly is a natural response to exciting or stressful situations. When possible, try to speak slowly and clearly to assist the captionist/interpreter, people who are lip-reading, and AI-generated captions for participants joining remotely.  

  • Provide a brief image description of yourself when presenting (e.g., I am a white woman with brown hair, glasses, and today I am wearing a black top and pants.)

  • Please make sure to describe images and how they relate to the content during your presentation.  Do not say “as you can see on this slide” or “looking at this chart” as that assumes everyone can see.

  • During the question and discussion portions, make sure that all audience members can hear the questions. For in-person sessions, anyone speaking must use a microphone or repeat the question once it has been asked. In virtual sessions, it may be helpful to have the question both typed in the chat or Q&A box and reading it aloud.

  • Familiarize yourself with ways to make the session more accessible. Resources include: How to Make Your Presentations Accessible to All, Using Personal Pronouns, Just Use A Microphone Already, and the ASHE Conference Accessibility website.


Uploading Your Presentation (NEW!)

  • Based on the recommendation of the ASHE Accessibility Workgroup, ASHE is beginning a transition to require presenters to upload their presentations prior to their session. This allows attendees to preview the presentation materials ahead of time for better engagement with the session, allows the ASHE Staff to review the presentations to ensure they are most accessible, as well as allows captionist/interpreter to preview the presentation to ensure accurate translation of materials.

  • For 2021, all presenters with a PowerPoint presentation are strongly encouraged to upload their presentation by Monday, October 12 at Noon Pacific. We recognize that some sessions such as Interactive Symposia, PVDS, etc. may not have a PowerPoint presentation and they will not need to upload anything.

  • For 2021, all presenters in sessions where there is an accessibility request for the presentation ahead of time are required to upload their presentation by Monday, October 12 at Noon Pacific. We will notify presenters of these requests no later than October 1.

  • Presentations should be uploaded in PowerPoint format rather than converting to a PDF. This allows the accessibility aspects of the presentation to remain in place. presenters may want to protect their presentations from being edited prior to upload. There are numerous resources available online with instructions on how to do this.

  • Presentations will only be accessible through the Virtual Ticket platform (PlaybackASHE.com). Attendees are responsible to the ASHE Events Code of Conduct and Ethics Policies. As such, presentations remain the intellectual property of presenters and may not be copied or disseminated without the express written permission of the presenters. 

    • This statement will be included on the PlaybackASHE website and presenters may include this (and any other language) on a cover page of their presentation.

    • Any violation of the ASHE Code of Conduct or Ethics Policies can be reported to ASHE Executive Director/Ethics Officer Dr. Jason P. Guilbeau at jason@ashe.ws


TRAVELING TO AND ARRIVING IN San Juan

Luís Muñoz Marin International Airport, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Accessibility information (including parking, lactation rooms, service animals, wheelchair access, restrooms, etc) for the airport can be found on their website via the following links: 

Wheel Chair Accessible Transport from the Airport to the Hotel can be found at:
https://www.puertoricoshuttle.com/wheelchair-accessible-transportation
1-787-400-2100
info@puertoricoshuttle.com

TSA Help Line: 1-866-289-9673

TSA provides a “TSA Help Line” to assist travelers planning to fly on any airline in the United States. TSA Cares is a helpline to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. TSA recommends that passengers call 72 hours ahead of travel for information about what to expect during screening. 


HEADQUARTER HOTEL

The 2021 ASHE Conference and headquarters hotel will be the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino on Convention Boulevard, San Juan. All accessibility information for the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino can be found on the website at: 
https://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/sjusi-sheraton-puerto-rico-hotel-and-casino/

Hotel reservations must be made through the ASHE portal at https://www.ashe.ws/hotels. Through this registration process, you will be able to request an accessible room as well as add comments for the hotel staff.


MEETING SPACES 

Meeting spaces are located on one floor of the hotel and are accessible via elevator, escalator, and stairs. 

Nursing Room

A nursing room will be available during the ASHE conference. More information will be provided in October.

All Gender Restrooms

All Gender Restrooms: ASHE recognizes that single-gender restrooms reinforce a binary understanding of sex assigned at birth and/or gender expression and thus exclude some ASHE members. To be consistent with ASHE’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity, many of our headquarters hotels’ restrooms, which are usually assigned as “men’s” and “women’s,” are converted to All-Gender Restrooms in an attempt to alleviate the fear of harassments and threats to individual users. Throughout the conference, restrooms at the Sheraton will be All Gender Restrooms and available to all conference participants inclusive of gender identity and expression. All-Gender Restrooms will be clearly marked with signs outside of each restroom entrance.  More information will be provided in October.

FOOD ALLERGIES AND DIETARY RESTRICTIONS

In creating menus, ASHE strives to ensure there are a variety of acceptable food preference options. If you have specific food allergies or dietary restrictions, please include this on your registration form. If menu options do not meet a conference attendee’s dietary needs, please notify any hotel server and they can provide an alternative option.


GENDER PRONOUNS AND NAME BADGES

When you register for ASHE 2021, you will be able to type in your gender pronouns. These will appear on your printed name badge. ASHE's values of diversity, inclusion, and equity call upon us all to be mindful of and use others' gender pronouns. More information on why this is important can be found at Using Personal Pronouns.