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Best Practices for Making Your PowerPoint Presentation Accessible

Step 1: Make sure your presentation is inclusive and accessible for all attendees by following the tips below. Have a question? Email us at hello@ilumino.co

Step 2: Download and add this PowerPoint cover slide (.jpg – 103KB) to your presentation so that while you’re getting ready to present your audience knows you’ve worked hard to include everyone!

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Include Alternative (ALT) Text

Use PowerPoint’s “Accessibility Checker” tool on your .pptx to see which content needs alt text (this includes not only pictures, but logos, graphics, infographics, charts, and videos).

Be sure to deactivate automatically generated alt text to avoid inaccurate descriptions.

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Check your Reading Order & Title Your Slides

Use the “Accessibility Checker” to make sure slide contents can be read in the order that you intend (e.g., Slide title, Main Point #1, Sub-Point, etc.)

While you’re at it, give every slide a unique title – Use the “Accessibility Checker” to find slides that are missing titles and rename them.

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Rename Your Hyperlink

Add meaningful hyperlink text and ScreenTips (e.g., don’t say “Click here” but describe the title of the destination page or URL “How to use Accessibility Checker”).

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Sufficient Color Contrast

Make sure there’s good contrast between your text and your background. If you are not sure, there are a ton of free tools you can use to check your contrast such as Leonardo or Accessible Color Pallet Builder.

While the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) exclude logos and images from contrast requirements, it’s best practice to ensure these comply when possible!

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Pick Your Font Carefully

Don’t overcrowd your slides or use tiny fonts. Our recommendation is to work with a minimum font size of 18pt, choose Sans Serif fonts and leave sufficient white space between elements.

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Tables and Headers

Use the “Accessibility Checker” to ensure your tables don’t contain split/merged/nested cells. If you do have to use tables, make sure they have a simple structure and specify column header information. Use the “Accessibility Checker” to ensure your tables don’t contain split, merged, or nested cells.

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Media

Make sure your videos have captions or that you provide audio-descriptions (an audio file which narrates the video for users).

Pro Tips

Pro Tip #1: You can apply these general best practices toward any application/program you use to create your presentation (Keynote, Google Slides, etc…). At ilumino, we prefer PowerPoint because of its advanced accessibility features and flexibility.

Pro Tip #2: Creating accessible documents is a hard-earned skillset! Following these best practices for accessible presentations will not necessarily make your deck fully compliant or guarantee that your accessibility additions will carry over if you convert or export to another format. However, it does demonstrate your intent to be inclusive and mindful, so keep up the good work!

Find the Accessibility Checker

Screenshot of PowerPoint Accessibility Checker Setting
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