Creating accessible Microsoft PowerPoint presentations

Estimated read time: 1 minute 11 seconds 

Who does this affect?

  • Zoe has low vision. The text in PowerPoint presentations is often too small for her to read, which prevents her from fully participating in meetings.
  • Kai uses a screen reader. They’re taking a course that is built in PowerPoint. The reading order has not been set correctly, so the information is being read to them in the wrong order.
  • Carlos has an inner ear disorder which can cause headaches or nausea. Complex slide transitions make him feel sick and lose focus.

Steps to take

  1. Use an accessible template
  2. Include a unique title on each slide. Titles should describe what the slide is about
  3. Use a size 18 point font or larger
  4. Use a sans serif font like BC Sans, Arial or Calibri
  5. Avoid putting a lot of information on one slide. It can be difficult to read
  6. Avoid using all capital letters, excessive italics or underlines
  7. Use descriptive alternative text for pictures, charts, and other visual objects 
  8. Use good colour contrast
  9. Test your presentation with the Grayscale feature to see how slides might look for someone who is colourblind
  10. Write in plain language
  11. Use descriptive hyperlinks
  12. Include speaking notes on each slide. Speaking notes provide additional information and context for your slides.
  13. If you are embedding a video ensure it contains closed captioning
  14. Follow accessibility standards when using tables 
  15. Set the reading order of slide content so that screen readers know what order to read them in
  16. Run the Accessibility Checker for review