To make sure that everyone in your audience can acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same experiences, learn the fundamentals of accessible slide design, including using preset layouts, readable fonts, descriptive links, and alternative text.
Applying good accessibility practices to your presentation slides creates a welcoming and inclusive experience for everyone in your audience. Many of us are unaware that our slide design choices might make it difficult or impossible for people with disabilities to consume our content. Learn the good presentation practices that enable inclusion.
Dos and Don'ts
Use Preset Layouts
Preset layouts organize common types of presentation content, including headings, images, or body text in a consistent, predictable manner. Aside from helping the presenter organize their content, preset layouts also make it easier for readers to locate the content they want, enabling them to focus on the messages within.
Pre-set layouts can make an even bigger difference for those who are blind or have low vision because they’re specially coded to work well with adaptive technologies like screen readers.
Use built-in preset layouts provided by the application you use (Google Slides or PowerPoint).
In situations when the preset layouts do not meet your needs and you create your own textboxes or images, don't forget to check that the elements on your slides can be read by a screen reader in the order you intend.
Use Unique Slide Titles
People who are blind, have low vision, or a reading disability rely on slide titles to navigate. For example, by skimming or using a screen reader, they can quickly scan through a list of slide titles and go right to the slide they want.
- Consequently, each slide in an accessible slide presentation must have a unique title.
- This does not mean that each slide must have a large title at the top of each slide; it doesn’t even necessarily mean that the title must be visible on the slide.
- It just means that each slide has to have a title attached to it, and that title must be different from the titles of all of the other slides in the presentation.
Use the built-in title text box to create a unique title for each slide.
If, for aesthetic or other reasons, you do want the title to appear visually, change the font color to match that of your slide's background color.
Even when your content is related to another slide with the same title, don't use the same slide title.
Write Descriptive Alt Text
Adaptive technologies can only access image content if alternative text ("alt text") is manually added to the image.
Your alt text should tell the reader what the image is and (when appropriate) the meaning it conveys.
If you can close your eyes, have someone read the alt text to you, and imagine a reasonably accurate version of the image, you're on the right track.
Learn more about writing alt text.
Include Brief and Easily Readable Content
Use at least a 24 point font. This will ensure everyone can read your slides, including:
- Blind people
- People with low vision
- People sitting in the way back corner of the room
Include only the content that supports and enhances what you are saying, such as:
- A few bullet points
- An image that conveys context or emotion related to your content
- A simplified chart or graph