Accessibility & Social Media Guidelines

Note on Community Spirit

In alignment with the DHSI ethos of openness and sharing, presenters are encouraged to approach these guidelines with a positive and inclusive attitude. Adapting your presentation and participation to these suggestions will allow your work and ideas to circulate more expansively, and will encourage better feedback and conversation. One of the tenets of DHSI is to offer “a safe, respectful, friendly, and collegial environment for the benefit of everyone who attends, and for the advancement of the interests that bring us together”; these guidelines are aimed at more fully attaining this goal. Accessibility helps everyone, including individuals with disabilities, and helps to ensure your research is presented in a clear, efficient, and impactful manner.

Etiquette for Virtual Sessions

To prepare for live virtual sessions, ensure you’re using the most current version of the app (e.g., Zoom, Skype, Teams) and that you are able to sign in. When attending a live virtual session that requires registration, please ensure your DHSI registration name or DHSI preferred name and your onscreen name match so that the host knows to let you into the session.

Photos/screenshot protocols: Note that some DHSI attendees have requested to not be included in any photos or screenshots, so please don’t take general screenshots during lectures, conferences, or workshops, and request permission prior to taking screenshots of individuals or their presentation materials.

Guidelines for Presenters

On Campus

  • Microphones should be used by all presenters.
  • Many of the DHSI events take place in large auditorium spaces in order to accommodate a greater number of attendees. However, these spaces are notorious for poor volume control. Microphones are necessary to ensure that everyone can hear the presentation and can participate in the conversation.
  • For best results, the microphone should be positioned 3-6” from your mouth. All presenters are encouraged to arrive early for a sound check when possible.
  • To the best of your ability, speak slowly and clearly with your mouth visible to the audience. This type of deliberate speech is helpful for people who speak English as an additional language or have hearing impairments and use lip reading techniques.
  • Minimize use of jargon and acronyms, and explain these terms when they are used.
  • Slide presentations should use a large (>30 point), sans serif font and contrasting colours to ensure readability
    • Avoid slides that are full of text (as a rule of thumb, include only six (6) lines of font per slide).
    • Avoid using design schemes that employ like colours and instead stick to basic, high contrast models (for example, light grey text on dark grey background).
  • To assist those who are vision-impaired or may be situated where they cannot readily see the projector screen, describe any images, graphics, or charts you choose to include. Avoid relying on colour alone to convey meaning, since colours can be difficult to distinguish, especially to those with colour vision deficiency.
  • To assist those who are hearing-impaired or speak English as an additional language, reproduce key ideas on your slides and reiterate this information out loud
    • If you are using Google Slides you can automatically close caption your presentation by selecting the “CC” button on the slide navigator
  • Presenters delivering a plenary lecture or participating in the day conference sessions should bring three (3) large-print (>16 point) versions of their presentation to circulate as needed.
    • If you are worried about your work circulating without your permission, you might write “not for circulation” and/or “please return to author at the end of panel” at the top of your paper.
    • On-campus printing facilities can be found at the McPherson Library, Zap Copy (in the Student Union Building), and UVic Printing Services.
  • If you are active on social media, include your Twitter handle on your slides and consider sharing your slides via a live link. If you will be speaking about a website, digital project hub, or online resource, include the appropriate link on your slides.
Resources Consulted

Led by Lindsey Seatter, with Caroline Winter, Kim O’Donnell, and the DHSI Community


There are many options for sharing presentations, including

  •     Screen recording of a slide deck or other visuals with audio presentation
  •     Screen recording of a slide deck or other visuals with audio and video presentation
  •     Video of presenter speaking
  •     Audio of presenter speaking
  •     Live video stream with interactive chat/participation

There are also many apps for recording and editing presentations. A few popular and user-friendly ones are listed in

this table


App Functions Overview/Tutorial



  • Video recording
  • Screen recording
  • Screen + video recording
  • Audio recording
  • Basic video editing

How to use QuickTime Player (Apple Support)

QuickTime Tutorial: How to Record your Screen and Voice-Over (Mac)

QuickTime Tutorial: How to Record Computer Screen AND Webcam (Mac)


Mac, Windows

  • Screen recording + audio
Record a Slide Show with Narration and Slide Timings (Microsoft Support)



  • Video editing

iMovie Support (Apple Support)

Editing with iMovie Workshop from the DSC

Merging Videos in iMovie



  • Screen recording + audio
Record Audio in Keynote on Mac (Apple Support)

OBS Studio

Mac, Windows, Linux

  • Video recording
  • Screen recording
  • Video editing
  • Audio recording
  • Video editing


OBS Help

How to use OBS Studio (Beginners Guide)

Microsoft Photos


  • Video editing
Video Editing in Microsoft Photos (sequencing and trimming)

Video recording

Screen recording

How to Record a Presentation Using Zoom



Best practice is to caption all presentation recordings to improve accessibility.

The process for captioning a video yourself involves capturing the caption text in a file and then syncing it with the video. There are several free, open apps for captioning your own videos, as recommended by U Washington at “Creating Accessible Videos”:

Another way to caption videos is through directly through YouTube.

If captioning the videos is not possible, we recommend that presenters provide an accessibility copy in the form of a transcript or even a list of speaking points.


  •     Convert all videos to .mp4 format
  •     Make sure video size is manageable, no more than 100MB per presentation. You can use several apps for that; some options are

o   For Mac: Quicktime: Go to File > Export As > 480p

o   For Windows: Windows Movie Maker

  • Limit the total word count to 1000
  • Make the text concise and succinct
  • Don’t include an abstract
  • Keep references to a minimum
  • Use graphs, charts, timelines, and other visualizations to communicate your findings
  • Also include multimedia and links to supplementary information, e.g., datasets, publications
  • Include acknowledgments, and don’t forget your name and institutional affiliation

The following font styles and sizes are recommended for each section:

  • Title: 72–120 pt. non-serif font (e.g., Helvetica)
  • Subtitle: 48–80 pt.
  • Section headers: 36–72 pt.
  • Body text: 24–48 pt. serif font (e.g., Palatino)

Suggested Programs


Google Slides


Additional Poster Resources

Better Scientific Poster

  • #betterposter templates with large blocks in the centre for main ideas

Creating and Printing Posters

  • From DH at Berkeley

Designing Conference Posters

  • Guidelines for designing research posters by Colin Purrington

General Poster Design Guides

  • Tips for planning and designing conference posters from the University of Toronto

How to Make an Effective e-Poster

  • Study by Ken Masters, Trevor Gibbs, and John Sandars

How to Make an Effective Humanities Research Poster

  • By Dan Melzer, UC Davis; aimed at undergraduates but useful for all

How to make your scientific poster an interactive PDF

  • Ideas and instructions for adding links to digital poster

Guide: Poster Sessions

  • Guide to poster sessions from Colorado State University

ThingLink (free trial available)

  • App for creating link “hotspots” to all kinds of visual media

QR Code Generator

  • Lets you create QR codes to include in your digital poster

Guidelines for Session Chairs

  • Before the session, prepare to introduce the speakers by asking each for their preferred name, name pronunciation, and pronouns. You might also ask them if it is ok for audience members to live-post their presentations on social media and share that information as part of your introduction.
  • To help create a comfortable environment for the audience members, consider mentioning the following:


    • Location of nearest washrooms, dining services, and/or quiet spaces
    • Explicit permission for audience members to exit the room as necessary (e.g., to use the washroom or for a sensory respite)
    • Expectations for audience participation (when questions/comments will be heard, use of microphones, etc.)

Example script:

We are located in the David Lam Auditorium. The nearest washrooms are located at the top of the stairs, and the closest food outlet is Mac’s cafe outside the main building doors. There is an open lounge area in the auditorium foyer and an inner courtyard with benches for respite. If at any time you need to use these services, please feel free to quietly exit the room. We have five presentations today and we will take questions at the end of the session. All of the presenters will use microphones and audience members are also asked to use microphones for comments and questions. Microphones are located in the centre of the aisles; if you would like assistance accessing a microphone, please alert me and I will bring one to you.

  • If presenters have provided print accessibility copies of their presentation, be sure to mention that they are available and invite audience members to use them.
  • Microphones should be used by all audience members asking questions or making comments.
    • Many of the DHSI events take place in large auditorium spaces in order to accommodate a greater number of attendees. However, these spaces are notorious for poor volume control. Microphones are necessary to ensure that everyone can hear the presentation and can participate in the conversation.
    • If an audience member is unable to move to a microphone, the chair should pass a microphone to them directly.

Social Media Etiquette

  • The DHSI community is generally very active on social media, including by live-posting events and presentations.
  • If you would prefer to not have your presentation shared on social media, make this explicit at the beginning of your presentation. DHSI generally assumes an environment of sharing, but sensitive or copyrighted material may not be suitable for social media or other online venues. If a presenter asks that their presentation not be shared, this should be respected without question.
  • In your social media posts, use the conference hashtag (e.g., #DHSI24). This makes the content easier to find and follow. Capitalize each word in a hashtag (#LikeThis) to make them readable by screen readers.
  • If you’re live-posting a particular event, thread your posts if possible to keep them grouped together (but don’t forget to include the hashtag with each individual post to maximize discoverability). Consider including a post at the beginning of the thread giving context about the event: where, when, why, who, what.


      • Include the speaker’s social media handle with each post referencing their work, as this acts as a form of citation and gives the speaker credit for their ideas. If they are not on social media, best practice is to include their full name with your first post referencing their work; after that, use their last name.
      • If the speaker mentions a website, digital project hub, or online resource, try to provide a link. Social media is a great way to showcase the work we’re doing!
      • If you tweet a picture, add image alt text to make it accessible by screen readers.
      • Always treat others with respect and kindness. Engage in social media in good faith, assuming that everyone is doing their best and that we all make mistakes sometimes.