Google Slides

Estimated reading time: ( words)

Summary: Google Slides is a collaboration tool used to create presentation files or "slide decks". Applying the six core skills to your Slides file will make the file more accessible to people with disabilities as well as others in your audience.

Creating accessible Google Slide decks 


Why create accessible presentations?

At its most basic, a presentation is the act or process of making information available to an audience.  Accessible presentations are about ensuring readability, usability and navigability for everyone - not just those with visual impairments. Whether you are giving a live presentation or posting your slides for viewing, there are a number of techniques and best practices for ensuring that a presentation will engage as many members of the audience as possible. The right delivery will ensure users gain the most possible out of the presentation. 

How to create an accessible Google Slide deck


Creating a new presentation by using a predefined template from Google

Predefined templates (Not the Blank one) have been specially crafted and lots of design options. Screen readers read containers within a slide in the order that they were created and not in the order they appear. These templates make this much easier. You can still adjust the color template to brand it.  A template will also give you some best design practices, such as a readable font size and sharp contrast with the color pallette. 

Consider Presentation Best Practices when adding content to your slides

Rather than cramming as much text as you can into your presentations, you should create a strong outline and include only the most essential points, and deliver the rest yourself. Presentations are meant to be, well, presented. If you find you have too much content on your slide - so crowded that you need to decrease the font size, consider breaking up your content into multiple slides, or delivering some of the content through other means like a document.

Ensure the tab reading order is the actual reading order

Tab through a slide and each element like text boxes and images should highlight in order that a screen reader would read them.  
In the slide area, select the element that you want to change.
To change the reading order, select the Arrange menu > Order.                    
Send backward will raise the element to a higher reading order.                    
Bring forward will make the element lower in the reading order. 
Test reading order with the Tab key again. 

Use high-quality images, shapes and graphs and add alt text to any non-decorative element

To insert an image, choose Image from the Insert menu and follow the instructions. DO NOT use COPY & PASTE
To add Alt text, Select the image. Then in the format menu, select Alt text (at the very bottom of the menu).
Enter alt text in the Description field (not the Title field). Include extended descriptions for charts and other graphics intended to convey information.

Create meaningful links that describe the destination     

Type out text that describes the destination of the link. DO NOT use “Click Here” or “visit this page”
Select the text, right click and choose Link from the menu.
Paste or type in a hyperlink.
Select the Apply button to save the link.

Did you find what you were looking for?

Get help

Submit your accessibility question for a personal response, and we'll use your question to improve the content of this website.