During An Accessible Presentation

Suggestions for the presenter and table facilitators to communicate with group(s).

Speak clearly and use simple language for different comprehension levels. Avoid jargon, which includes much of our treasured theological and spiritual language. Particularly since we want to listen to people who feel disengaged with the Church, we can’t presume these terms will be familiar or relatable.

Be visible: face participants when speaking and keep microphone and hands away from your face for people who lip-read.  They will presumably be sitting in the front, so you should stay in the front of the room.

Use microphone for large room presentation and repeat questions if participants don’t have a microphone.

Cover all the text on slides, which is different than simply reading the slides.

Pace your delivery to give people a chance to process the information.

Allow time for movement breaks OR encourage those who need to walk around periphery of room if needed.

Describe pertinent visuals and graphics.

Describe any visual information.  For example, if you ask people to raise their hands in response to a question, say what percentage or approximate number of people did so.

Hearing assistance: hearing loop, FM or Infrared Systems for people who are Hard of Hearing or have hearing aids or cochlear implants.

ASL for people who are Deaf.  Speak at a reasonable pace for interpreter and you should be standing near each other, so individuals watching the interpreter can also see your expressions and gestures.  Spell any unfamiliar words. ASL is used for people who speak Spanish, but interpreter should be bilingual.

Limit background noise as much as possible.

Accessible Small Group Sharing – Some Suggestions for Table Facilitators and Recorders

Suggestions for presenter to the large group will also help table facilitators.

Table facilitators should have additional resources to draw on to clarify the questions for anyone who doesn’t understand them. 

For participants who communicate better through pictures and/or stories, it would be great to have an additional ‘recorder’ at the table.  If possible, this is someone from the parish that knows the person, such as a catechist, or who knows them in some other way.  A teen leader could be very good at this also, as well as an educator or education student in the parish.

It could be good for this recorder to listen and talk with the person to the side first, before sharing with the group.  Another possibility is to meet at another time or before the meeting begins to start the process of sharing.