Accessibility: Creating Accessible PowerPoint Presentations

When creating presentations, it is always best to ensure that you are creating content that is going to be accessible to a broad audience.  Here are some important things to remember when creating an accessible presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint:

Slide Layout

  • PowerPoint slides should always have properly structured headings and lists.

Headings

  • When structuring your document, use properly formatted headings.  Headings should follow a natural order:  Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, etc.  Try to avoid skipping a heading level.
  • Heading colors should maintain a high contrast.  Avoid using lighter shades of a color.  Use darker colors.

Fonts

  • Make sure font size is sufficient.
  • For ease in readability, the font size may need to be a little larger when projected from a projector.

 

Images, Graphics, Maps and Graphs

  • Make sure to provide alternative text descriptions (ALT text) for all images and graphics.
  • Be thoughtful to describe the image so that it reflects the reason you added the image or graphic in the first place.  If it is purely decorative, then you can simply describe it as such.
  • Alternative text descriptions for graphs should describe the information that is being displayed.

Data tables

  • In order for a data table to be accessible, it requires the addition of table header information so it can be identified by a screen reader.  Since Microsoft PowerPoint does not have this capability, try to keep any tables very simple and straight forward.

Links

  • When writing links, don’t use the web address (URL) as the display text.  Use the title of the page or indicate the links destination that you are linking to (ie:  Adobe Support Site, New York Times article on snow removal).

Color

  • Don’t use colors to convey meaning.  Individuals who are color blind may not be able to distinguish the color and associate its meaning.  Screen readers may pass over the color of text as well.
  • When using color with text, make sure there is a high contrast ratio.  Use darker colors on white / light backgrounds.

Testing Your Document

The current versions of Microsoft PowerPoint have built in Accessibility Checker.  After running your document through the Accessibility Checker, it will provide you with a list of errors, warnings and tips on what you need to do to make the document more accessible.  While it doesn’t automatically fix the issues for you, it is a great way to make sure your document will reach the broadest audience.

Note:  The Accessibility Checker will only work with .pptx files

Additional Resources

While these are the fundamental considerations to take when crafting a document, there are other components to a more complex Word document that also require a similar attention.

Accessibility: Creating Accessible Word Documents

When creating documents, it is always best to ensure that you are creating content that is going to be accessible to a broad audience.  Here are some important things to remember when creating an accessible document using Microsoft Word:

Fonts

  • Fonts should be sans serf, such as Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana.
  • For ease in readability, the font size should never go below 10px.

Headings

  • When structuring your document, use properly formatted headings.  Headings should follow a natural order:  Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, etc.  Try to avoid skipping a heading level.
  • Avoid using headings as ways to style your document.  Headers are the primary way screen readers navigate through a document.  When headings appear randomly in a body of text, a screen reader looks at it as a new content point, breaking the continuity of the content tree.
  • Heading colors should maintain a high contrast.  Avoid using lighter shades of a color.  Use darker colors.

Images, Graphics, Maps and Graphs

  • Make sure to provide alternative text descriptions (ALT text) for all images and graphics.
  • Be thoughtful to describe the image so that it reflects the reason you added the image or graphic in the first place.  If it is purely decorative, then you can simply describe it as such.
  • Alternative text descriptions for graphs should describe the information that is being displayed.

Links

  • When writing links, don’t use the web address (URL) as the display text.  Use the title of the page or indicate the links destination that you are linking to (ie:  Adobe Support Site, New York Times article on snow removal).

Color

  • Don’t use colors to convey meaning.  Individuals who are color blind may not be able to distinguish the color and associate its meaning.  Screen readers may pass over the color of text as well.
  • When using color with text, make sure there is a high contrast ratio.  Use darker colors on white / light backgrounds.

Testing Your Document

The current versions of Microsoft Word have built in Accessibility Checker.  After running your document through the Accessibility Checker, it will provide you with a list of errors, warnings and tips on what you need to do to make the document more accessible.  While it doesn’t automatically fix the issues for you, it is a great way to make sure your document will reach the broadest audience.

Note:  The Accessibility Checker will only work with .docx files

Additional Resources

While these are the fundamental considerations to take when crafting a document, there are other components to a more complex Word document that also require a similar attention.

Fall 2017 Opening Week – Teaching Station Training

On Wednesday, August 23rd and Thursday, August 24th,  the Newhouse Information and Computing Services will be offering the following training for the Teaching Stations in our classrooms.  Please review the times below with your own schedule and email us back at newhousetraining@syr.edu to confirm what training you will attend.

  • Wednesday, August 23rd 9am – 10am
  • Wednesday, August 23rd 3pm – 4pm
  • Thursday, August 24th 9am – 10am
  • Thursday, August 24th 1pm – 2pm
  • Thursday, August 24th 3:30pm – 4:30pm

If you cannot attend you can view the instructional videos on your own time.

Teaching Station: Extron Button Switcher


Classrooms with this style switcher

Newhouse 2:  469


Teaching Station:  Extron Button Switcher

In this video we take you through the basic process of operating teaching stations with the Extron Button style switcher.

  1. Turn on the projector by pressing the “ON” button on the extron switcher.  The projector will take 30 seconds to one minute to turn on.  When the “ON” button stops flashing, you can begin to select your source.
  2. Choose the source you wish to display by pushing the corresponding button on the switcher.  These teaching stations all have the following sources:  PC, Mac, Laptop, Document Camera, DVD/VCR and Aux Video.  Some rooms have special equipment available like DV Decks.
  3. You can hide the image on the projector by pressing the “Mute On“ button.  This will black out the projector.  Press “Mute Off” to go back to projecting your source.
  4. The volume for all sources can be controlled by the volume knob.
  5. At the end of your class, please turnoff the projector by pushing the “OFF” button.  The projector will shut down over a minute or two.
  6. If you are connecting a Laptop or an auxiliary video and audio source, use the input ports on the teaching station.  Please note cables and adapters are not provided at the teaching station.  You are required to bring your own VGA cable or RCA cable to connect to the teaching station.

If you have any problems with the teaching station, please send an email to newhelp@syr.edu or call  315-443-2436 to report the problem.

Teaching Station: Extron Touch Screen (White Background)


Classrooms with this style switcher

Newhouse 1:  212

Newhouse 2:  340, 345, 350, 355


Teaching Station:  Extron Touch Screen (White Background)

In this video we take you through the basic process of operating teaching stations with the Extron Touch Screen switcher with the white background.

  1. Turn on the projector by pressing the “System Power” button on the touch screen.  The projector will take 30 seconds to one minute to turn on.  After 10 seconds or so, you can begin to select your source.
  2. Choose the source you wish to display by pushing the corresponding button along the top of the touch screen .  Teaching stations with this style touch screen all have the following sources:  Local Mac, Local PC HDMI Port, VGA Laptop, Document Camera, Blu Ray, and Aux Video.  Some rooms have special equipment available like DVD/VCR players.
  3. After selecting some sources, the touch screen may reveal controls for operating the device.
  4. The volume control for all sources is located at the bottom of the touch screen.  Volume can be controlled by either the large knob or the buttons to the right and left of the level meter.
  5. To hide the image on the projector, first press the “Projector Controls“ button on the bottom right of the touch screen.  This will open the Projector Controls panel.  Under Picture Mute, Pressing the “On” button will black out the projector.  Press “Off” to go back to projecting your source.  Press “Close to leave this panel.
  6. At the end of your class, please turnoff the projector by pushing the “System Off” button.  The projector will shut down over a minute or two.
  7. If you are connecting a Laptop or an auxiliary video and audio source, use the input ports on the teaching station.  Please note cables and adapters are not provided at the teaching station.  You are required to bring your own HDMI, VGA or RCA cable to connect to the teaching station.

If you have any problems with the teaching station, please send an email to newhelp@syr.edu or call  315-443-2436 to report the problem.