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Accessible Presentations

Presentation Accessibility

These guides and videos provide steps to help you spot inaccessible documents, create accessible documents, scan documents, and repair inaccessible documents. For the best accessibility practices regarding the creation of new documents, please review our Creating Accessible Presentations Guide.

To Learn more Join us for a Presentations & Posters Accessibility Workshop. Our schedule can be found on our Events & Workshops area. 

if you have a question that is not answered below, please contact the Instructional Accessibility Group via email at InstructionalAccessibility@msudenver.edu.


Presentations are an integral part of lesson development and course design. They provide information in a visually appealing and easy to digest format that is easily transformed into a platform for lecture notes. The following steps explain how to make an existing presentation accessible using Microsoft PowerPoint.

Slide Format Guidelines:

  1. Titles: the titles of each of your slides need to be entirely unique
    • Use labels such as “Cont.” and “1 of 3” to distinguish multiple slides covering the same topic.
  2. Content: the content on each slide should be concise to not overwhelm the viewer.
    • Additional information needed to expand on ideas brought up in the slide can be added in the speaker notes.
  3. Text Font, Size, and Color: the following are guidelines for accessible text
    • Font should be size 24 or higher; sticking to this will help keep your content concise.
    • Text should be in high contrast colors compared to the background (see Contrasting Colors Guidelines).
      • Similarly, you do not want to use the common colorblindness combinations together (i.e. red/green, blue/yellow, and purple/orange).
    • Use simple fonts: avoid fonts with decorative edges
    • Numbered lists are more accessible than bullets
  4. Lists: all lists need to be numbered using the “list” feature.

Transitions and Animations:

While useful to break up monotony in a presentation, transitions and animations can also create accessibility issues.

  1. Transitions occur between slides:
    • Transitions should be quick and unobtrusive
    • Avoid the use of flashing, zooming, or spinning transitions
  2. Animations are stylistic modifications to the presentation of the content.
    • Animations should be quick and should not hinder the ability to read the content.
    • Animations should never remove content from a slide.

Inserting Multimedia (Audio, Videos and Images)

  1. Click Insert; the tool-ribbon at the top of the screen will show you a list of options
    • This is where you will go to insert tables, charts, images, videos, or audio clips.
    • Inaccessible Features (do not insert these as they will be inaccessible): WordArt, SmartArt, Zoom, and 3D Models.
  2. Provide transcripts for any included audio clips
  3. Review any displayed videos for captions;
    • If captions are present, create a title and alt-text for each video.
    • Videos cannot be provided without captions.
  4. Add appropriate Alt-Text to all images.
  5. Add explanations for nuanced images on the slide or in the Speaker Notes.

 

  1. Click Arrange on the home tab
  2. Select Selection Pane; a menu titled ‘Selection’ will display the reading order for each slide on the right side.
  3. Drag and drop each slide item to order them as you intend them to be read.
    • Note: the reading order is bottom up, so the titles of your slides should always be on the bottom.
  4. Save the presentation. The following steps are for saving an accessible outline.
  5. Click File > Save As.
  6. Select a file location and select the Outline/RTF’ from the Save as type drop-down; Saving this file format creates an outline of the presentation to be shared alongside it.

 

 

  1. Open an existing presentation in PowerPoint and review the content.
  2. Click Review in your toolbar.
  3. Click Check Accessibility; an Accessibility Checker menu will appear on the right with ‘Inspection Results’ displayed.
    • This menu displays all accessibility concerns in the presentation and will display the reasoning for correction and recommendations for solutions.
      • The first section, labelled, ‘errors’ in the inspection results, provides a list of images without alternative text as well as videos; they also need titles, labels, and alt-text.
    • ‘Additional Information’ under the ‘Inspection Results’ offers suggestions on how to fix concerns.

To be sure you presentation is accessible, review the PowerPoint accessibility Checklist below.

Accessibility Checklist:

  1. Do you describe all the material on your slide?
  2. Is important text indicated by more than color?
  3. Do all images have Alternative or Descriptive Text?
  4. Will the presentation be provided elsewhere (i.e. Microsoft Teams or Canvas)?
  5. Do all of the presentation slides have unique titles?
  6. Is the presentation font clear and sized appropriately?
  7. Are bullets appropriately numbered in presentations?
  8. Are Animations unobtrusive?

 

If you answer no to any of these questions, revisit your presentation. If you answer yes to all, you are ready to save and distribute.

 

    Slide Format Guidelines:

    1. Layout: use the default layouts when creating your slides.
    2. Titles: the titles of each of your slides need to be entirely unique
      • Use labels such as “Cont.” and “1 of 3” to distinguish multiple slides covering the same topic.
    3. Content: the content on each slide should be concise to not overwhelm the viewer.
      • Additional information needed to expand on ideas brought up in the slide can be added in the speaker notes.
    4. Text Font, Size, and Color: the following are guidelines for accessible text
      • Font should be size 24 or higher; sticking to this will help keep your content concise.
      • Text should be in high contrast colors compared to the background (see Contrasting Colors Guidelines).
        • Similarly, you do not want to use the common colorblindness combinations together (i.e. red/green, blue/yellow, and purple/orange).
      • Use simple fonts: avoid fonts with decorative edges
      • Numbered lists are more accessible than bullets
    5. Lists: all lists need to be numbered using the “list” feature.

    Inserting Multimedia (Audio, Videos and Images)

    1. Click Insert; this will open a drop-down menu where you can select the multimedia you wish to add.
      • Use this menu to insert audio clips, videos, images, or charts and graphs.
      • Inaccessible Features (do not insert these as they will be inaccessible): WordArt, SmartArt, Zoom, and 3D Models.
    2. Provide transcripts for any included audio clips
    3. Review any displayed videos for captions;
      • If captions are present, create a title and alt-text for each video.
      • Videos cannot be provided without captions.
    4. Add appropriate Alt-Text to all images:
      • Click the image
      • Right-click (Mac: click with two fingers on the mousepad); this will open a separate menu.
      • Select Alt Text
      • Type the Alt-Text in the box labeled ‘Description’
      • Click OK
    5. Add explanations for nuanced images on the slide or in the Speaker Notes.

    Transitions and Animations:

    While useful to break up monotony in a presentation, transitions and animations can also create accessibility issues.

    1. Transitions occur between slides:
      • Transitions should be quick and unobtrusive
      • Avoid the use of flashing, zooming, or spinning transitions
    2. Animations are stylistic modifications to the presentation of the content.
      • Animations should be quick and should not hinder the ability to read the content.
      • Animations should never remove content from a slide.

     

    Presentation Accessibility Guides

    These guides provide distributable content that covers the above guides as well as additional Presentation Accessibility Content.

     


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