Research Paper Presentation Script Template

This section provides a sample script for delivering a half-day to full-day presentation covering all of the topics listed in the outline. Tailor the script to your chosen program length, content and audience.

Presentation Outline

Introduction

  • Success stories
  • Legal issues
  • Definitions and statistics

General Library Access

  • Building and physical environment
  • Staff
  • Services

Adaptive Technology

  • Assisting people with:
    • Low vision
    • Blindness
    • Hearing and speech impairments
    • Specific learning disabilities
    • Mobility impairments
    • Health impairments
  • Beginning the process of planning for adaptive technology
  • Getting started: a list of adaptive technology devices
  • Resources

Electronic Resources

  • Universal design principles
  • Accessible Web design
    • General page design
    • Graphical features
    • Special features
    • Web pages test
    • Resources

Summary


Introduction

Distribute handouts.

  • Making Library Resources Accessible to People with Disabilities
  • Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology
  • Meet the Speakers in the Videotape: Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology
  • World Wide Access: Accessible Web Design
  • Meet the Speakers in the Videotape: World Wide Access

Put up overhead transparency.

Universal Access: Electronic Information in Libraries

I'm here today to share with you information and issues related to people with disabilities, electronic resources, and libraries.

Put up overhead transparency.

Computers
+
Adaptive Technology
+
Electronic Resources
=
Opportunities

Recent advances in adaptive computer technology, greater reliance on computers, and increased availability and networking of electronic information resources have resulted in life-changing opportunities for many people with disabilities. In combination, these technologies provide many people with disabilities better access to education, careers, and other life experiences.

Libraries play an important role in ensuring equitable access to information for all members of our society. In addition, federal legislation mandates that public institutions, including libraries, provide accommodations for people with disabilities so that they can utilize the same services and resources as other people.

What are some of the electronic resources currently in your library?

Presenter Note: Solicit audience input to list items such as CD-ROM encyclopedias and indexes, online catalogs, WWW pages, and full-text databases.

The information covered in this presentation will provide you with tools and insights that will help ensure that these electronic resources are accessible to the broadest audience. As an extra benefit, you will find that being sensitive to the needs of people with disabilities can often make access easier for everyone.

Put up overhead transparency.

Program Outline

  • Success stories
  • Legal issues statistics
  • General library access
  • Adaptive technology
  • Electronic resources

Our program today will cover these five topics. To begin I will share some success stories or examples of the impact that adaptive technology for computers and electronic resources has had for people with disabilities. Then we will consider the most important legislative directives on the issue and look at some statistics about people with disabilities. We will then consider the bigger picture of access to libraries and library services for people with disabilities. With that background, a videotape presentation and discussion of adaptive technology for computers will bring our focus to electronic resources in libraries. The last segment of the program will include the second videotape presentation and a discussion of universal design of electronic resources applied to the development of World Wide Web pages.

Today's presentation will help you understand the impact of these technologies for people with disabilities while giving you the tools to begin implementing them in your library. Your packet of handouts is one of the tools that will help you apply the ideas presented. Let's walk through it.

Put up overhead transparency.

The following handouts are in your packet.

  • Making Library Resources Accessible to People with Disabilities
  • Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology
  • Meet the Speakers in the Videotape: Working Together: People with Disabilities and Computer Technology
  • World Wide Access: Accessible Web Design
  • Meet the Speakers in the Videotape: World Wide Access

Much of the information presented today is provided in these handouts. I will let you know which handout covers the information we are focusing on as we go through the presentation. Keep the handouts handy to save from taking duplicative notes.

Success Stories

Put up overhead transparency.

I'm going to start out today by sharing with you a few stories of people with disabilities who are able to access information resources thanks to the availability of adaptive technology and accessible electronic resources. You'll meet them in the videotape we'll view shortly.

  • Ben cannot use his hands, but muscular dystrophy doesn't interfere with his use of the Internet; he uses a voice input program that allows him to talk his way through the Net - six hours a day!
  • Sarah uses her library's online catalog and the Internet to research and write papers for school. Her learning disability makes it difficult for her to read so she uses a speech output system to read the screen.
  • Anna is blind. She uses a screen reader and speech output system to access her library's full-text databases and CD-ROMs. Her system works well until she runs into programs not designed according to universal design principles.
  • Shane surfs the Net with a small tube in his mouth. The computer obeys his every command as he inputs Morse code - sip for a dot, puff for a dash. His cerebral palsy is only a minor inconvenience as he researches information on his special interest, naval communication.
  • Sherri is legally blind, but has enough sight to use enlarged screen images as she uses governmental resources on the World Wide Web in pursuing her master's degree in public administration.
  • Katie is hearing impaired. She often uses a sign language interpreter. On the Internet, however, Katie communicates with the reference librarian quickly and easily through electronic mail.

These stories provide examples of people with disabilities who are successfully pursuing avocations, education, and careers thanks to adaptive technology and electronic resources. During our presentation today, we will be learning how to ensure that there will be many more success stories like these for people with disabilities.

Legal Issues

Put up overhead transparency.

According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), "no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his/her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of a public entity." Footnote 1

The ADA and the regulations promulgated to implement it have stressed that people with disabilities should be provided the same services as others, unless this would be less effective. The Department of Justice has stated that "Integration is fundamental to the purpose of the American with Disabilities Act." If accommodation, or an adjustment is needed to make a resource, program or facility accessible to a person with a disability, the individual's preference of accommodation must be given primary consideration. Footnote 2

In short, libraries must assure that people with disabilities can participate in library programs and utilize library resources as independently as possible. And this includes electronic information resources. As legal questions about the implications of the ADA for access to electronic information resources are tested, libraries are being required to provide access to these services.

Put up overhead transparency.

According to decisions in recent cases on access to electronic resources, libraries in academic institutions must proactively and deliberately plan for accessibility. A recent letter from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights noted:

Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires a public college to take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with persons with disabilities "are as effective as communications with others" [28 C.F.R. ss 35.160(a)]. OCR has repeatedly held that the term "communication" in this context means the transfer of information, including (but not limited to) the verbal presentation of a lecture, the printed text of a book, and the resources of the Internet.

The letter continues:

"Title II further states that, in determining what type of auxiliary aid and service is necessary, a public college shall give primary consideration to requests of the individual with a disability" [28 C.F.R. ss 35.106(b)(2)]. Footnote 3

Put up overhead transparency.

In providing guidance on expectations for libraries in providing access to electronic resources, the letter states:

Modern adaptive technology has radically affected the degree to which it is economically feasible to make printed materials and computer based information systems accessible to blind patrons. The larger and more financially endowed the library, the higher the expectation that a greater volume of information will be made available within a shorter amount of time, particularly when reasonably priced adaptive technology is available to replace tasks that previously required personnel. An important indicator regarding the extent to which a public library is obligated to utilize adaptive technology is the degree to which it is relying on technology to serve its non-disabled patrons. The more technology that has been purchased by a public library to serve non-disabled patrons, the more reasonable the expectation that it will employ technology such as scanners to serve its patrons with disabilities.Footnote 4

As libraries increasingly provide electronic resources, they are legally obligated to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities.

Definitions and Statistics

So, what exactly does "person with a disability" mean?

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"Person with a disability" means "any person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities including walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working; has a record of such an impairment; or is regarded as having such an impairment."

Put up overhead transparency.

Examples of qualifying disabilities covered by legislation may include, but are not limited to, spinal cord injuries, loss of limbs, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, hearing impairments, visual impairments, speech impairments, specific learning disabilities, head injuries, psychiatric disorders, diabetes, cancer, and AIDS.

The examples listed here are conditions which limit people's abilities to perform specific tasks. Some of these conditions are readily apparent; some are invisible. Some require that we provide special accommodations in the library; some do not. Additionally, some people who have conditions with the same label may have very different abilities when it comes to performing specific tasks. For example, one student who has cerebral palsy may have difficulty walking. For another student, cerebral palsy may result in no functional use of her/his hands or voice.

Now that we discussed the definition of disability according to the ADA, let's consider some statistics to gain a better understanding of this service population.

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According to surveys conducted in 1991-1992, 9.6% or 1 in 10 Americans has a severe disability that substantially limits at least one major life activity. 19.4 % or 1 in 5 Americans has a disability. Footnote 5

In addition, we can expect the number of library patrons with disabilities to increase. Some reasons for this increase include:

Put up overhead transparency.

Advances in medical technology and techniques result in greater numbers of people who survive traumatic accidents and problematic births.

Improvements in technology make it possible for more people with disabilities to live independently and have productive lives for which they will want and need library resources.

Increased awareness of people with disabilities' rights to accommodations and equal opportunities in education and employment, guaranteed by 504 and the ADA, has, and will continue to encourage more people to pursue these activities and request accommodations.

The creation of federal and state mandated K-12 and higher education academic support programs helps more students with disabilities complete high school and enter college and careers. The number of students with disabilities enrolled in universities and colleges has already increased. In 1994, 9.2% of all full-time, first-time entering freshman reported a disability, up from 2.6% in 1978.6 This trend will create a greater demand for accessible information resources in academic libraries.

The aging of the baby boomer generation will cause a significant demographic shift in our society, increasing the number of people with low vision, hearing impairments, and other disabilities related to the aging process.

Put up overhead transparency.

Among people aged 18-44, 5% have a severe disability; among people aged 65-74, 25% have a severe disability; and among people aged 75-84, 42% have a severe disability. Footnote 7

All of these factors are leading to increased numbers of people with disabilities who are and will be requesting services at libraries.

Summary

The purpose of this introduction is to help you understand why libraries need to be prepared to serve people with disabilities. The legal imperatives of the ADA and other laws and the expected increase of people with disabilities in our constituencies and argue strongly for immediate action. Libraries will be best prepared to serve patrons with disabilities if they strive to include them in regularly provided services. This is best achieved by using universal design principles when designing facilities, equipment, services and resources; by providing a base level of adaptive technology; and by developing a policy and procedures for handling requests for accommodation. By taking these steps the library will be better able to respond quickly to more specialized requests for accommodation.

The rest of today's presentation will help you develop an understanding of adaptive technology and of universal design principles so that you can help develop accessible services and resources for your library.

How To Make an Oral Presentation of Your Research

You’ve been working on your research for months, and now that it’s finished, or almost there, you need to make an oral presentation.  Perhaps you are applying to attend the ACC Meeting of the Minds undergraduate research conference.  Maybe you would like to participate in the Undergraduate Research Network’s spring research symposium.  Or it could be a requirement for a class or for your major.  Here are some tips to help you bring order to the ideas swirling in your head—and communicate the key points about your research to an audience.

  1. Timing.  Find out how long your talk should be.  As you decide what to present, keep in mind that a ten-minute talk is very different from a 45-minute lecture.  If you only have ten minutes, you’ll need to focus on the most important points.  With more time, you’ll still need to focus on those points, but you’ll be able to present additional supporting detail.  Time yourself giving your talk, and make cuts if you need to.  It is fine to end a bit early.  Going overtime shows your lack of preparation. 

  2. Audience.  Find out what sort of audience will listen to your talk.  Specialists in your field will bring a different sort of understanding to your presentation from a general audience; you may be able to use certain technical terms without defining them, but always beware of jargon and acronyms.  With a general audience, you need to ask yourself what educated people not in your field will know, define any terms that may be unfamiliar to them, and make an effort to explain the significance of your research in terms the listeners are likely to understand.

  3. Content.  Students often think they need to explain every single thing they know or be perceived as knowing too little.  This is not true.  Giving a talk is a great opportunity to think about the big picture rather than focusing on details.  This can be hard if you are immersed in the specifics of your project.
    Step back for a moment to before you became the expert on your particular topic.  What piqued your interest?  Why did you start asking the questions you asked?  Now step into the future. When you look back on this research, what will you remember as the most interesting or compelling thing you learned?  Were there surprises?
    Now you are ready to ask yourself:  What are the points I want to convey?  What do I want the audience to learn?  When audience members remember my talk the following day, what main point do I want them to remember? 

  4. Organization.  Your talk must have a beginning, middle, and end.  You need to (1) introduce yourself; (2) present your research question and why it matters; (3) describe how you conducted your research, (4) explain what you found out and what it means; and (5) conclude with a summary of your main points.  

    Depending on your topic, you may need to provide background information so that the audience understands the significance of your inquiry.  Be judicious in the amount of information you give, and do not let this discussion get you off track.  Once you’ve provided sufficient background, bring the focus back to your research by reminding the audience of your research question.
    Do not even think of opening PowerPoint until you have organized your ideas and decided on your main points.  If you need guidance, see below for a sample oral presentation outline.

  5. PowerPoint.  You should treat PowerPoint as a useful tool.  You can use it to incorporate images into your presentation, to emphasize important points, and to guide your audience in following your argument.  You should not use it for anything else.  This means:   

    Don’t present too much information on the slides.  The audience cannot read a long section of text and simultaneously listen to you speak about it.  If you really must provide a long quotation, then highlight the words and phrases you want to emphasize, and read the quote out loud, slowly, so the audience can absorb it.  Then discuss it. 

    Do explain to your audience what each chart or graph indicates.  Use charts and graphs to convey information clearly, not simply to show that you did the work. 

    Don’t spend extra time on making a fancy PowerPoint presentation with moving images and graphics unless they are vital for communicating your ideas.

    Do be prepared to give your talk even if technology fails.   If your charts don’t look quite right on the screen, or you forget your flash drive, or there’s a power outage, or half the audience can’t see the screen, you should still be able to make an effective presentation.  (Bring a printout to speak from, just in case any of these disasters befalls you.) 

  6. Tone.  It is best to approach your prepared talk as a somewhat formal occasion. Treat your audience—and your topic—with respect.  Even if you know everyone in the room, introduce yourself.   Don’t address audience members as “you guys.”  Dress neatly.  Most of all, share your enthusiasm for your subject.

  7. Practice.  Practice speaking slowly and clearly.  If you want to emphasize an important point, repeat it.  Practice speaking slowly and clearly. 

    You don’t need to read your talk, and in fact you should avoid doing so.  But you should speak it out loud enough times that you know when there are points that tend to trip you up, where you might have a tendency to throw in something new and get off track, and whether some of your transitions are not smooth enough.

    And, of course, time yourself.  Make cuts if you need to. 

    Practice again. 

 

Sample Oral Presentation Outline


Introduction

Hello, my name is ____.  I am a ___-year student at the University of Virginia majoring in ____.  I’m going to talk to you today about my research on _____. 

Context of research

  • I had the opportunity to join Professor ____’s lab, where the research focus is____.
  • This is research for my Distinguished Majors thesis….
  • I got interested in this area because ….

Research question and significance

  • I wanted to find out _______[insert your research question].
  • This is an important question because _____. OR This question interested me because ______.

Research methods/design 

  • I thought the best way to answer this question would be by ______. 
  • I chose this method because….

Research activity
Here’s what I did:  _______.

Results
Here’s what I found out:  ______.

Significance of results/where this research might lead

  • This result matters because….
  • Now that I’ve learned this, I see that some other questions to ask are….

Conclusion/Summary of main points
I set out to answer ______ [research question] by _______ [research methods].  And I discovered that ______ [brief statement of results].  This was interesting because _____ [significance]/This will help us understand ____. 

Acknowledgments

  • I am grateful to my advisor, Professor _____, for her guidance.…
  • My work was supported by a _____ award.  OR I’d like to thank the ____ Family for their generosity.

Questions
I would be happy to take your questions.

 

 

 

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