Blog Post #11: Tips for Creating Accessible Slide Presentations

If you’re creating a slide presentation for the C2020 conference, do consider incorporating accessible features.

Components such as template design, fonts, colours, spacing, images, tables and slide animations can facilitate or hinder screen readers, which are used by people who are visually impaired. Simplicity is always a good choice.

Choose a template that has a simple design and strong colour contrasts. If you use colour to convey information, make sure it can also be communicated without colour. For example, a heading or subheading in a different colour from the body text can still be read as a heading or subheading. Using colour to emphasize a word within the body text, however, is perhaps best avoided.

Also avoid using boldface, italics, underlining or cramming lots of information into one slide, as these can make text difficult to read. A sans serif font and 30 points for the body text are good choices.

Set the wrapping style for images or other non-text elements as ‘In line with text’, and be sure to add alternative text for graphics and images. The alternative text should convey the main message of a graphic or image, not all the elements. Strive for clarity by avoiding all non-essential information in the alternative text. Text boxes and word clouds created online may be inaccessible to screen readers, so they are best avoided.

To include tables, use the ‘Insert’ tab and then select ‘Table’ to ensure they are properly inserted.

Any animation should be brief and not distract from a slide’s content. It’s also preferable to avoid automatic slide transition.

Finally, it’s a good idea to give each slide its own title. This makes it easier for people who are visually impaired to navigate. 

Keeping these points in mind as you put your presentation together is just one of the ways in which you can contribute to making C2020 accessible.