Why Make Presentations Accessible?

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. Programs such as PowerPoint and Google Slides make creating these presentations easy and convenient.

Clipart of a person giving a PowerPoint presentation

Make your PowerPoint and Google Slides presentations accessible for students with disabilities using assistive technology such as screen readers.

Learn more about creating accessible content by attending the Proactive Accessibility Certification Workshop Series.

For additional assistance, contact the Instructional Accessibility Group

Instructional Accessibility Group Email

Making Presentations Accessible: What Doesn't Work

The following list consists of the most common issues that make presentation materials inaccessible and quick steps on how to avoid them:

  • Using repeated slide titles; using the same title for multiple slides can make it difficult to navigate the slides
    • Instead: use qualifiers such as “Continued” or “1 of 3” for topics that span multiple slides
  • Using a small font size; small fonts make presentations difficult to read for an audience in a large room or using a device with a smaller screen
    • Instead: use a font size of at leas 28 for all content
  • Using color or underline as the only means of conveying meaning or importance; visual indicators are inaccessible to many readers
    • Instead: convey importance through textual context
  • Inserting equations or formulas; equations and formulas in Presentations cannot be rendered to an accessible format.
    • Instead: present equations as images and provide alternative text that matches the spoken text
  • Inserting pictures of charts or tables; charts and tables that are inserted as images provide almost no information to screen readers.
    • Instead: use the Insert Tool to insert charts and tables.
  • Using idioms, colloquialisms, or jargon outside of topic specific terminology; language that is unclear, vague, or irrelevant can create a barrier for many readers.
    • Instead: use clear and precise language appropriate for the anticipated knowledge level of the reader.
    • Idioms and colloquialisms for stylistic purposes should be defined for clarity.
  • Using Microsoft SmartArt; SmartArt is inaccessible as it cannot be detected by screen readers.
    • Instead: text based lists are a good alternative for any flowchart process

Dig Deeper with these Additional Resources (external links)