10.11 Accessible Microsoft PowerPoint Presentations

Use the built-in accessibility design features.

PowerPoint presentations often include pictures, SmartArt graphics, shapes, groups, charts, embedded objects, links and videos, causing issues with accessibility. Consider creating a Microsoft Word document, accessible with a screen reader, to convey the information provided in the PowerPoint. By doing so, visually impaired students can use the document and not the presentation to receive the content.

Screen readers read a PowerPoint in the order that objects were added to the slide, which may not be the intended order. Use a screen reader to confirm reading order.

Avoid using text in images as the sole method of conveying important information. If you must use an image with text in it, repeat that text in the presentation. In the alternative text, briefly describe the image and mention the existence of the text and its intent. Accurately caption all videos. Provide every slide with a unique title. Use sufficient color contrast and do not use color or bold to convey meaning.

Use larger font size with sufficient white space and sans serif fonts. Avoid using all upper case letters and excessive italics or underlines. Those with dyslexia report “swim together” text on a page with compressed content/text and limited spacing.

Points: 3 (Essential)

QM Alignment: 8.3, 8.4


PowerPoints should be accessible to persons with visual disabilities, including those who may use a screen reader to assist with reading.

As PowerPoints may include not just text, but images and multimedia, as well, please consult the other standards in section 10 for tips on making the different types of content accessible.


  • Blackboard Ally will check PowerPoints in your Canvas course for any accessibility issues
  • Use the PowerPoint Accessibility Checker to fix issues
  • Rename files or links to files to be readable by screen readers. For example, a link to a file called “Module1-LN.pptx” might be labeled something like “Module 1 Lecture Notes.”




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HCC Online Course High Quality Standards by Hillsborough Community College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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