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PowerPoint Accessibility

An accessible PowerPoint presentation is when all users can access the content, both in and out of the classroom. Depending on the elements you place in your PowerPoint document — such as audio, video, images, and use of text color — you may need to provide different formats of your slideshow to meet the needs of your audience. Examples include a black and white PDF version for a user with low vision or color blindness, and an HTML text version for a visually impaired user utilizing a screen reader.

Accessibility Tips for PPT Documents

  1. Use the Normal View to work in PPT (3 panes showing in this view Outline, Slide & Notes pane).
  2. Use default Auto Layouts that best fit purpose of slide instead of using text boxes; auto layouts generate an outline of the slide automatically.
  3. Verify that the Outline pane displays your slides’ content and that it is in the same order. Outline pane must display correct order for screen readers to read content aloud correctly.
  4. Use Effective Color Contrast between background and text for readability, e.g. black text on white background.
  5. Describe images or graphics in the Notes Pane and add alternative text for each image.
  6. Include captioned text for videos and audio. Include a transcript when appropriate.
  7. Use Sans Serif Fonts (e.g. Arial, Tahoma, Verdana), and simple and descriptive language
  8. Provide multiple formats of your PowerPoint presentation if needed:  original PPT file, PDF version, and/or HTML version.

Additional Resources for PPT Documents

Last updated: June 22, 2011