Creating Accessible Powerpoint Presentations

Keep it simple

1. Fonts

  • Be consistent with the fonts used in the document
  • Use a sans serif font, 22-point minimum – such as Arial, Helvetica or Verdana that are large enough for both projectors and online viewing
  • Avoid using text shadow or glow effects for any text as they may not be accessible by screen readers
  • Avoid using italics or upper-case letters for emphasis

2. Colours

  • Use appropriate colour contrast (e.g. black and white)
  • Avoid using solid dark colour backgrounds
  • Make sure that all information conveyed with colour can also be conveyed without colour
  • For print documents use a matte/non-glossy finish

3. Spacing

  • Avoid putting a lot of information on a slide as it can be confusing and unreadable
  • Follow the rule of thumb – four lines per slide

4. Images

  • Set wrapping style of non-text elements as “In line with text”
  • Add alternative text to graphics and images

5. Check Accessibility

  • Perform a test of the document’s accessibility prior to distributing it either via email or by posting it to the internet. Use a screen reader such as JAWS, NVDA, WindowEyes, etc. Preferably, develop an Accessibility Testing team of persons experienced at using Assistive Technologies.
  • Microsoft Powerpoint also has a built-in accessibility feature. However, do not rely on ‘machine’ testing alone to test for accessibility.
  • To access the Accessibility Checker in Microsoft Powerpoint: In the File tab, click on Info, Check for Issues, and then Check Accessibility.