Accessible Poster Presentations

It is APHA's desire to make all meetings accessible to the widest range of people possible. Please pay special attention to members with disabilities. For inofmration about accessibility services visit the Access Page. If you are a presenter requiring specific accommodations, please contact APHA Staff (202-777-2475).

While at your poster sessions be sure to keep push pins off the floor as they can puncture wheelchair and scooter tires.

Attendees with Visual Impairment

Offer to describe your poster or bring a CD of your work for attendees with low vision.

Below are guidelines for presenting a poster to attendees with low vision:

Font Size

Sizes may vary depending on the viewing distance and amount of text to be included.

  • Title Size: Ideal is 158-point font but titles should be at least 72-point font or larger. Title should be viewable from 10 to 15 feet away to catch the attention of the reader.
  • Section Title: Ideal is 56-point font but should be at least 46 to 56-point.
  • Block Text/Body: Ideal is 36-point font but should be at least 24-36 point

Font Type

Typefaces are often described as being serif or sans serif (without serifs). Use sans-serif (non-serif) fonts. Serif fonts can be more difficult to read, particularly the more decorative, handwritten and italicized fonts.

  • Serif fonts include a small decorative line added as embellishment to the basic form or main strokes of an alphabetical letter. The most common serif typeface is Times Roman.
  • Sans serif fonts have no embellishments. Common sans serif typefaces are Helvetica and Verdana.

Font Color

  • Black text with a light background is the most legible for printed material.
  • If it is important to have many colors for aesthetic or other reasons, it is better to use combinations different from black text on white background only for larger or highlighted text, such as headlines and titles.

Line spacing

  • Leading refers to the amount of added vertical spacing between lines of type. Using between 1.2 and 2.0 line-spacing allows the reader greater ease in moving from line to line.
  • Tracking is the space between characters. If your processor allows for letter-spacing adjustments, +3 is adequate.
  • You can increase tracking for headlines, but you should not use less than +3 for tracking anywhere.

Images and Graphics

  • Include captions for images and graphics to allow the audience to understand more precisely what the image is intended to communicate.
  • Place images/graphics in sequence with the text.
  • Do not place text over images.
  • Include titles for images/graphics.
  • Be sure that the resolution of the image is correct for large printing. As a general rule use 300 dots per inch, or dpi, when saving images. Avoid copying and pasting images from the web that are below 250Kb.

Organizing Information

  • Be wary of crowding a poster. Take advantage of white space.
  • Location of Title should generally be across the top of the page and displayed prominently. Headings and subheadings should be displayed in relationship to the body/block text they lead.
  • An introduction to the poster should be clear, engage the audience and inform them of the message you want them to take from the poster.
  • Readers should be logically led in the correct direction from heading to heading by a clear narrative and attractive and logical design.