/ Disability and Accessibility Resources

Accessible Presentations

Whether you are presenting in the classroom, at a conference or during a meeting, make sure everyone is able to understand and participate.

PowerPoint and Google Slides

Provide slides to your audience prior to your presentation and in accessible formats. 

Master Slides

Master slides are the slide layouts that are built into a slide deck. Within the master slides, the very first slide in the slide deck is the slide master and the following slides are the layout masters. When you edit the slide master, it will impact all other slides. If you edit the layout slides, it will only impact that one particular type of layout.

We recommend that you that you edit the master slide with accessibility in mind before you create content for your presentations.

Font Formatting
  • Minimum font size should be 24 pt.
  • Make sure that the contrast between the background and foreground meets WCAG AA standards
  • When selecting a font, make sure that your font is easy to read. Avoid fonts that are cursive or have weird symbols. Make sure that the spacing between letters is fairly consistent and that the spacing between words is large enough to prevent confusion. Sans serif fonts tend to be easier to read. Serif fonts have decorative lines, sometimes referred to as “tails” or “feet,” while sans serif fonts don’t.
  • Avoid abbreviations.
  • Be careful when using all capitals (also known as all caps). What screen reader a student is using will determine how something is read; more often than not, the individual letters of a word in all caps will be read, instead of the word itself. This is not a problem if the text is an acronym, like PAM for Public Affairs and Marketing. However, if you want your students to read ALL of chapter 2, it might be a bit confusing when the screen reader says “A-L-L.”
Slide Formatting
  • Use the built-in list options. Avoid using dashes, images or random symbols to list material. 
  • Tables should be simple and easy to read. If you are using PowerPoint, make sure you identify row and column headers.
  • Make sure that you use unique titles for each slide. If you are continuing an idea on multiple slides, consider adding numbers to the titles.
  • Text on a slide side should be concise. In general, slides should have no more than 7 lines of text with 7 or fewer words per line. 
Alternative Text
All non-decorative images should have alternative text (alt text). When adding alt text, write in simple, precise language and keep the explanation brief. Typically, alt text should only be a sentence or two that describes the elements or the idea that you are trying to present to the viewer. Avoid writing “image of,” “photo of” or other things like that. A screen reader will add that by default.
Avoid Animations
Slide animations should be avoided. Animations can be distracting for abled students and possibly harmful to others as animations might trigger seizures.


Speak Clearly
Avoid speaking too fast and make sure you pause between topics. This will help participants and interpreters better understand you and keep up.
Use a Microphone

If a room as a microphone, even if it appears to be a small room, make sure you use it. This may include people using Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) and remote captioners. Also, when the audience asks questions, either repeat the question or give them a microphone.

Keep in mind that not everyone would be comfortable speaking up from themselves if they couldn't hear, even if you asked the room directly. Read “A Note From Your Colleagues With Hearing Loss: Just Use a Microphone Already” (The Chronicle of Higher Education) to learn more about the importance of using a microphone.

Face the Audience 
We understand that there will be moments when you need to look at projected material or write something on a board, so be careful not to speak while facing away from the audience. Do what you need to do and then turn back to speak. 
Describe Pertinent Visuals
Don't worry about mentioning decorative elements, but make sure you describe any significant graphics, videos and other visuals.
Avoid or Explain Jargon, Acronyms and Idioms

If you decide you use any special words, expressions or acronyms, describe or explain what they mean. Expressions such as “pulling someone's leg” can be interpreted literally by some who has a cognitive disability and it can be confusing. This also can apply to people whose primary language is not the one in which you are speaking. 


If you are looking for more guidance on presentation accessibility, check out “Mysteries of Accessibility: Designing Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides” (YouTube) (Hawkes Learning) and “Tips for Delivering an Accessible Presentation” (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology).