AHEAD: Association for Higher Education Access & Disability
Creating inclusive environments in education & employment for people with disabilities.


AHEAD’s Contributor Guidelines

Below are some tips for contributors to 'UDL: It's Time to Talk About the Why' to help  you to make better presentations and to assist us in our aim to make this a unversally designed event. 

Accessibility & Universal Design

Presenters should:

  • Provide your presentation to AHEAD in advance for dissemination to participants, particularly those with visual impairments.
  • Ensure any films/videos being used have English subtitles for deaf/hard of hearing participants and those for whom English is not a first language.
  • Try not to rush through your presentation: rushed presentations make SpeedText (live captioning) and sign language interpretation difficult. Live captioning will be available in the Main Hall throughout and Irish Sign Language is available on request.
  • Describe important content that is visually presented on slides for example graphs etc.
  • Try not to speak too quickly and define terms where necessary. This is useful for those with hearing impairments or language processing difficulties as well as those whose first language is not English.
  • Always face the audience and do not cover your mouth - be aware that lack of eye contact and/or the inability to see your lips may make your presentation inaccessible to some.
  • Have a clear goal for your contribution and explain that goal to your audience at the beginning. Don’t try to incorporate everything – instead identify the key message and put it across clearly and concisely.

Tips to incorporate CAST’s UDL guidelines in to your presentation – ensure your presentation includes multiple means of:


  • Tip: Use multiple modalities. Even if your preference is primarily oral presentation, it is helpful to support the linguistic piece with visual representation of some kind. Provide your presentation/associated materials in advance so audience can follow on mobile devices if they wish.

Action & expression

  • Tip: Include resources or ‘next steps’ on your final slide to encourage the audience to act on what they have heard.


  • Tip: Allow time for questions and answers at the end of your session. Incorporate the conference hashtag #UDLahead so participants can engage on twitter. Why not incorporate a reflective question which gets your audience thinking?

Other tips and info for presenters:

  • Time your contribution carefully in order to encourage questions and respect others’ presentation slots – we will give presenters a signal when they have 5 min remaining.
  • Our preferred room layout is cabaret style (round tables with approx. 8 per table) but if our numbers exceed a certain figure, we may have to lay out the main hall in theatre style (rows of chairs). The Green Room will be laid out cabaret style. If presenting in the Main Hall, please prepare for both eventualities and we will update you close to the event.
  • Both spaces will have projector and will be wired for sound (for videos etc.).
  • If you have an interesting idea you’d like to try out but need something special, pitch it to us and we’ll see if we can help!

Follow AHEAD

  • Follow AHEAD on Twitter
  • Join AHEAD on Facebook
  • See AHEAD on YouTube
  • Link in with AHEAD on Linked In

Search AHEAD

Video: How we help students & Graduates Succeed

Creating Inclusive Environments in Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

East Hall, UCD, Carysfort Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
T +353 1 592 1467 E ahead@ahead.ie W www.ahead.ie RCN 20025182