MSU Denver

Introduction to Making Accessible PowerPoint Presentations

PowerPoint presentations are an easy and officiant way to share information in the classroom and at conferences. Though officiant for the presenter, they are commonly inaccessible to all audiences. Making your presentation accessible assures that all people including those who are blind or have low vision and people who are deaf or hard of hearing can still participate with the information being shared in the PowerPoint.

The Basics of Creating Accessible PowerPoint Presentations

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 Color Contrast Guide).
      • 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.


Connect with the Instructional Accessibility Group

Improve your accessibility knowledge and skills through the Proactive Accessibility Certification Workshop Series.

Interested in improving the accessibility of your course? Request an Access Check or a Course Accessibility Review.

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