Presenter Guidelines (General Info)

The Governor’s Council for People-with Disabilities greatly appreciates your willingness to participate as a speaker at the 2019 Indiana Conference on Disability. We would like to remind you of a few items:

This year’s conference will take place at Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, 350 West Maryland Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225 from November 17-19, 2019. The Preliminary Schedule is subject to change. Please read over this guide and don’t hesitate to let Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities staff know if you have questions or need additional information.

August 23, 2019 Respond to to confirm your participation as a Conference on Disability concurrent session speaker.
August 23, 2019

Review and verify the presentation details submitted in your presentation proposal – send confirmation or corrections to

  • Lead presenter & co-presenters’ information: Names, organizations, contact information and biographical information (for publication in the Conference program and promotional materials)
  • Session title, description, and actionable items (for publication in the Conference program and promotional materials)
August 23, 2019 Confirming you’re A/V needs on this form.
October 4, 2019 Register for your complimentary full access pass to the 2019 Indiana Conference on Disability!
October 14, 2019 Submit your session materials to

About the Attendees

The Indiana Conference on Disability draws a diverse audience consisting of youth and adults with disabilities, family members, advocates, administrators, educators, service providers, and health professionals throughout Indiana and the Midwest. Approximately 60% of the Conference attendees are people with disabilities. The remaining 40% are comprised of family members, professionals, and other attendees.


Attendees find handouts a valuable part of the presentation. Begin planning your handouts as you begin preparations for your session. The Indiana Conference on Disability will be providing all handouts for the conference electronically via our smartphone app and website. In order to ensure that we have the handouts in time to post them for all attendees to access, we have imposed a strict deadline of October 14. All speakers are required to submit handouts for their presentation. Session materials include but are not limited to: handouts; PowerPoints; articles, reference lists, or other reference materials.

Registration Information

All Speakers are welcome to attend other education sessions at the conference. Register for your complimentary all access pass for the 2019 Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities Annual Conference no later than October 4, 2019. Visit to complete the registration and use the discount code SPEAKER19 to receive your complimentary registration.

Audiovisual Requests

Audiovisual equipment can only be provided if requested in advance of the meeting on your Speaker Information Form. Onsite requests will not be accommodated. All concurrent session rooms will be equipped with:

  • Laptop;
  • (1) Handheld microphone and (1) Lavaliere microphone
  • LCD projector and screen

Your stated A/V needs influence your room assignment and schedule placement. We keep our A/V costs reasonable by putting speakers with similar A/V needs in the same room as much as possible. Please help us by determining NOW about what A/V equipment you will need. The Indiana Conference on Disability reserves the right to modify requests based on the nature of the program, equipment availability and budget considerations. The convention center will have A/V set-up to your submitted specifications, but we like to have the presenters arrive early in case any adjustments need to be made.

Coordination with Co-Speaker

If presenting this workshop with a co-speaker, please make sure to coordinate presentations to ensure compatibility, avoid inconsistency, and deliver the presentation as advertised to the workshop attendees. Where possible, co-speakers should strive for consistency in the formatting of materials and/or jointly prepare written and presentation materials. Should you not be able to fulfill your speaking obligation, please notify Emilie Perkins (317) 328-2546 ext. 161, email: immediately. It is acceptable to identify a confirmed replacement speaker if you have a colleague that can fill in for you. However, we do ask that you notify other speakers, if any, of the speaker change or cancellation or replacement.

Accessibility and Inclusion

The Indiana Conference on Disability strives to be an inclusive event where all attendees are provided an opportunity for meaningful and full participation. GCPD requires that all presenters use respectful language at all times during their presentation.

Before preparing your presentation, please read this speaker guide to accessibility and Inclusion here.

When preparing both oral presentations and written materials, speakers are expected to be sensitive to the concerns of all members of the audience in their use of language, hypothetical examples and anecdotes. For example, routinely assuming that lawyers and judges are male and secretaries and legal assistants are female or portraying any gender or minority group in an unfavorable light, is simply inappropriate. Please avoid offensive, racist or sexist remarks. Please use inclusive language wherever possible. Please scrutinize both written materials and oral remarks carefully for stereotypes that might offend individuals in the audience.

Session Management

Before your session, a room host will help attendees find a seat. At the start of your session, the room host will introduce you to the audience using the bio that you submitted. If you request, this individual can be available to channel questions to you or help you with any unique requirement. Please be considerate of your session start and end time.

Professional Responsibility

Occasionally, an unethical or questionable practice may be mentioned without clearly stating the applicable ethical guidelines or considerations. If the ethical context of the practice being described is not clarified, some in the audience may assume that you (or the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities) approve the practice. To avoid any possible misinterpretation of such remarks, please remind attendees of their ethical responsibilities.

‘Selling’ Products or Services from the Podium

Presentations focused so specifically on one product or service that they become commercials should be avoided. Such “selling from the podium” is unacceptable. Consultants should always disclose any interests, financial or otherwise, they may have in the products they are recommending or are comparing with others in a program or a speech. As a result of their special situation, consultants and vendors should always identify themselves as such, indicating their interests in any product or service.

Suggestions to Make Your Presentation More Effective

You will need to help your audience transfer what has worked in one situation to how that idea can have broad application to other organizations and situations. Share with the participants the rationale that went into your decision; do not just report on what your organization did, but why. Please remember that given the educational expectations of our attendees, this is not a platform to sell or promote specific products or services. Remember:

  • Conference committee members are available to assist in developing your session content to ensure it meets the goals of the overall program.
  • Concurrent sessions should provide actionable items – things that participants will be able to do or implement immediately to improve their life or someone else’s as a result of attending your presentation. Be explicit about your intended actionable items, both in your presentation and in your session materials.
  • Interactive sessions that allow attendee participation and questions are the most highly rated. Active audiences will remember your message better than passive audiences.
  • Session materials should support and enforce your message. PowerPoint slides do not make good handouts. Handouts do not make good slides. Put the extra effort into creating separate pieces to ensure a high-quality presentation.
  • Slides should visually support your message.
  • Handouts can include more text to provide outlines, lists, resources, facts, references, etc.
  • Make sure your session materials include the following information so attendees can use the materials as reference later:
    • Your name and contact information; the name of the event (2019 Indiana Conference on Disability); the title of your session; and summary of your session’s key actionable items
  • Cognitive overload = too many words on the slide + presenter talking (the audience can’t pay attention to both) Use no more than one point per slide. People generally pay attention to change and don’t want to miss anything, so don’t be afraid to change slides often.
  • Additional tips on presentation design:


Presenters participate as volunteers and as such are not compensated for their participation in GCPD events. Presenters can be reimbursed for-parking, and mileage reimbursement and a per diem allowance is available if traveling 50 miles or more from Indianapolis. Reimbursement requests can be submitted using this form.
In addition, speakers are responsible for all expenses incurred in the development and implementation of their sessions, including the reproduction, shipment and delivery of handouts if they are not provided electronically by the deadline.