How to Create Powerpoint Presentations for Accessibility

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1 Page 1 of 7 How to Create Powerpoint Presentations for Accessibility Overview Goal The goal of this online training module is to help faculty create MS-Powerpoint presentations for accessibility. It consists of four lessons on general formatting rules, as well as information on designing a PPT for accessibility and converting a PPT presentation to an accessible Word document. Modules The four lessons that describe the process of creating MS-Powerpoint for accessibility are: Module 1. Accessibility in Powerpoint. Module 2. General Formatting Rules including fonts, color, and special character. Module 3. Designing PPT Slides for Accessibility. Module 4. Converting PPT to Accessible Word Document. At the end of this online tutorial you will be able to 1. Apply the general rules of formatting when creating Powerpoint slides for accessibility using MS-PPT Apply design guidelines when creating a Powerpoint presentation for accessibility using MS-PPT Apply these concepts to any other type of PPT presentation that you create. Module 1. Accessibility in PPT PowerPoint is inherently inaccessible especially to students with visual impairments. Its content has to be converted to a Word (rtf/outline) format to be accessible. To make the presentation and the conversion as accessible as possible, some basic steps can be taken: keep the navigation and page transitions simple avoid using images, charts, and graphs use lists and simple tables be prepared to deliver the presentation in a text only file (i.e. convert from Powerpoint to Word document) for students with special needs.

2 Page 2 of 7 Module 2. General Formatting Rules Formatting guidelines are very important because these formatting rules impact the consistency of your PPT presentations when it is converted to a Word document for accessibility. Here s a list of general formatting guidelines for PPT: 1.Fonts If you are using text in your PPT, follow the general rules listed below to ensure accessibility: Use large font size. Use sans-serif fonts such as Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Trebuchet or Helvetica consistently. Avoid decorative or serif fonts such as Times New Roman or Garamond. Use black or another dark color for fonts. Do not use red, light or bright colors, or multicolored fonts. Bold: use often; Italics: use sparingly; Underline: use sparingly. 2. Graphics If you are using graphics and images in your PPT for accessibility, create alternative text (Alttext). To create alt text in Powerpoint, right-click on the graphic. 1. Select Size and Position. Image 2.1. Size and Position 2.Click Alt Text tab, and enter description of the graphic.

3 Page 3 of 7 Image 2.2. Sample Graphics with Caption and Alt-Text 3. Click the Close button. It should be noted that graphic elements are not recognized by screen readers and are interpreted as blank spaces. 3. Roman Numerals Roman Numerals are read by text readers as letters, not numbers. For example, the Roman number for 4, which is IV, will be read as the letters i and v. Use numbers 1, 2, 3, etc instead of Roman numerals. 4. Acronyms and Abbreviations Instead of abbreviations and acronyms, type the complete word or title. Abbreviations are often read phonetically by text readers. For example, the abbreviation e.g., will be read to sound like egg. The abbreviation didn t will be read separately to sound like didn and t. 5. Special Characters Text readers are often able to recognize most common special characters such as +. = or %. Converting other special characters and symbols, such as those used in Math, Chemistry, Statistics, and Biology, will require special assistance because these symbols are extremely difficult to render into accessible formats.

4 Page 4 of 7 Module 3. Designing PPT Slides for Accessibility This section provides design guidelines for PPT presentations for accessibility. 1. Use subtle backgrounds which do not detract from the text. o No bright colors, no graphic overlays. 2. Use accessible fonts and appropriate font size consistently. For more information on this topic, see Module 2: General formatting rules. 3. Use only slide layout templates within Powerpoint. For successful conversion to an accessible MS-Word document, use only the slide layout templates found within Powerpoint. Using these templates correctly will make sure that your Powerpoint document has correctly-structured headings and lists, proper reading order, etc. The correct use of slide layouts is probably the most significant thing you can do to ensure that your content is formatted for accessibility. How to create a New Slide using layout slide templates o Select Home > New Slide, or select the New Slide button, and a menu of slide types will appear. Image 3.1. Layout Menu in MS-PPT Using the Outline view, review for all missing text. This is important when converting PPT to accessible rtf/outline format.

5 Page 5 of 7 How to get the Outline view Step 1: Select the Outline tab; the outline view will appear. Step 2: If text is missing, re-type text inside Outline View. 5. Do not use slide transitions. Image 3.2. Outline View using MS-PPT 2007 Transitions can be distracting to some users, and may cause some screen readers to misread a slide. How to turn off the slide transition effect o Step 1: Select the Animations Menu, and the transition menu will appear. o Step 2: Click the No Transition button. Image 3.3. Slide Transition Menu in MS-PPT 2007

6 Page 6 of 7 6. Include descriptions of graphics used. It should be noted that graphic elements are not recognized by screen readers, and are interpreted as blank spaces. However, alternative text could be read by a screen reader and should remain intact when exporting to HTML or PDF. For more information on this topic, see Module 2. Module 4. Converting PPT to Accessible Word document. We have now arrived at Module 4 Converting PPT to accessible Word document! This module will provide the steps that will enable to you to create an accessible Word document from your PPT presentation. Because Powerpoint is inherently inaccessible, Powerpoint files have to be saved as accessible MS-Word files by applying the appropriate steps when converting the Powerpoint document. Listed below are 7 steps for converting PPT to Word file. Step1: To create slides, use only the templates provided within Powerpoint. Step 2: Format accessible fonts, Roman numerals, etc. Step 3: Add alternative text for graphics. Step 4: Review for any missing texts. Step 5: Convert the PPT into outline format by saving as an Outline/RTF. (Note: Save as outline/rft is not the same as Outline view) Image 4.1. Saving a Powerpoint presentation as Outline.Rtf Step 6: Proceed as in MS-Word document.

7 Page 7 of 7 Step 7: Check Accessibility in the new MS-Word document. Module 5. Accessible MS-PPT Checklist Congratulations! You have completed this training module. The following are the most important things to consider when converting PPT to Word document. Please check your PPT for the following: Do I have: Accessible fonts A subtle background Slide layouts based on templates Alternate text for any essential graphics Did I remove/avoid: Roman numerals Abbreviations Underline/ Italics Have I: Saved the presentation as Word document Checked the outline for missing text Followed Word accessibility formatting guidelines If you answered yes to all questions, you are now ready to convert your Powerpoint to a Word document and check for accessibility. Note: This checklist can be also found under the Resources Menu.

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