20 Event Materials and Digital Materials

Ensure event promotion language and visuals, and event materials – hard copy and virtual – are inclusive for target audiences.

Event Materials and Digital Materials

Ask Yourself

  • When developing materials for your audience, consider: how you can make those materials accessible? 
  • Who is portrayed in the pictures? Do the pictures unintentionally invite a specific group of people and not others?
  • Does your marketing material use gender inclusive language?
  • Have you checked your marketing materials with a “test audience” to see if you are sending an accurate message?

Recommended Practices

Consult The University of Iowa Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Style Guide for messaging and guidance on inclusive language.  

When developing supporting or supplementary materials for your audience, consider how you can make those materials accessible. For example, many people find value in printed handouts, but these are inherently inaccessible to participants with print disabilities. Similarly, videos and other multimedia content may present barriers for participants who cannot hear or otherwise perceive the audio or video track. 

Review event materials for any discriminatory or exclusionary language. 

  • For print materials, ensure that all fonts are at least 12 point text and provide a large print copy at 18 point font. 
  • For digital and presentation materials, ensure that titles are unique (have each slide have its own specific title for example “Accessible Practices One”) and 40-44 point all text is at least 24-28 point.
  • For your headings, either include a colon : or not – just be consistent.
  • Consider having an overview of the project at the beginning.
  • Consider a table of contents for ease of review and navigation.
  • Ensure that all handouts and advertising materials are in accessible formats including adequate color contrast, varying font size, and languages.
  • Avoid using acronyms which create insider/outsider language barriers.
  • Add Quick Response (QR) codes, symbols that bring your phone to a website to help people quickly navigate to a website or accessible format document on their phone. This can be especially helpful for those who need to enlarge or change the format of a document.


  • Consider producing handouts in an accessible electronic format such as Microsoft Word, HTML, or accessible PDF. Accessible documents are easily adaptable for screen reader use, Braille output, high contrast, large print, and other inclusive formats. 
  • For pre-recorded audio and visual media, remember to include captions, transcripts, audio descriptions, and other content so that all participants receive the full message. Consider making transcripts of recorded media available to participants along with other handouts.
  • Make handouts available on a USB drive in case a participant cannot access your network.
  • It is recommended that presenters leave space for captioning on a shared screen when designing slides.


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Inclusive Events and Programming Guide Copyright © by Authored collectively by the University of Iowa campus community is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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