Introduction to Creating Accessible Presentations in Google Slides

Much like PowerPoints, one of the main reasons Google Slides is such an effective presentation tool is how they tend to be highly visual.  Luckily, just a little bit of extra considering when designing your slides can result in much more accessible presentations that are accessible to all people regardless of their abilities.

The Basics of Creating Accessible Presentations in Google Slides

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 Contrast 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.

Connect with the Instructional Accessibility Group

Improve your instructional accessibility through the IAG live trainings, access checks for individual materials, or course reviews.

Have more questions or need additional assistance? Email the Instructional Accessibility Group