Screen presentations and Powerpoint files

Further information

  • Policy: Web accessibility
  • Check your work

Screen presentations and files used to visually assist presentations have accessibility features.

  1. Screen presentations
  2. PowerPoint and Keynote
  3. UWA master slide
  4. Example accessible slide show
  5. Screen presentations

    Audiences with accessibility needs will appreciate being catered to in presentations that may include spoken and audio-visual components. For example, unsighted attendees will miss the text component of a presentation, including on-screen prompts that are not announced verbally (often text, WordArt, pictures and similar). By promoting and making available an accessible alternative at the start of the presentation, attendees can follow both the verbal and the on-screen content.Any component of a presentation may be made accessible, given some effort. The specifics of that effort may simply be what good practice would dictate anyway.

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PowerPoint and Keynote

Microsoft PowerPoint in 2017 offers more accessibility features than Apple Keynote in creating files for on-screen presentations. These differences may make a difference in choosing the software, or they may be accounted for with alternative accessible content. Additionally PowerPoint for Mac offers lower feature levels than the PC version of the same software.

PowerPoint’s inbuilt and suggested Layouts include accessible design. Using these and deleting unwanted elements (rather than adding the same elements manually) is suggested to gain good-quality builds.

The Outline and Notes views of PowerPoint have limited features that assist in making content available as text.

'Alt text' that describes images should be added to presentations, although the option to markup an image as 'decorative only' isn't available in PowerPoint at the time of writing.

Testing for the accessibility of a presentation may be made in the same way as web pages are tested. PowerPoint has an inbuilt feature for accessibility testing.

Microsoft offers a PowerPoint Accessible Template Sampler and support for adding captions to video in presentations.

Slide master

Slide Master in PowerPoint also allow for consistent formatting between slides. A Slide Master slide dictates the look and feel of all the slides in the presentation, and may include a custom presentation of font, colours, contrast, effects, backgrounds, pictures or logos, placeholders, footers, titles, page numbers and more.

Adding custom slide layouts through the Slide Master is critical for accessibility because only text fields added in a Slide Master are read out by screen readers. Screen readers may skip manually inserted text fields.

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UWA presentation master

UWA offers a master slide on the downloads section of the Brand Toolkit.

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Example accessible slide show