There are many presentation tools available both on-line such as Google Slides and for Apple Mac – Keynote or the freely downloadable Open Office Impress. The points to consider mentioned below apply to most presentation software applications.
If you want to make sure your Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2013/2016/2019 presentation works with pre-2007 versions turn on compatibility mode to save it as a .ppt rather than .pptx.
- Use the slide layout themes (Menu > Design >Themes and Home > Layout) offered by PowerPoint to ensure all titles and text are seen in the outline view.
- Add ‘alt-text’ descriptions to all images via the picture Format > Size (and position) > alt-text.
- Ensure colour contrast levels between the background and text allow for easy reading. Avoid watermarks and busy patterns. Keep the amount of information on each slide to a little as possible. Try to use sans serif fonts.
- Ensure captioning and transcripts are included with video and audio files before adding to the presentation or at the very least add clear descriptions for each change in the video plus a transcript of the audio file and descriptions for all Flash files added to the presentation. (see additional resources)
- Ensure graphs and diagrams are described in the notes section seen below the slide edit pane.
- Add further textual descriptions to the notes section to enhance understanding and where appropriate add links to references.
- Use Office Accessibility Checker to check through the elements within your slides that are not accessible. This can be found under File > Check for Issues.
- Microsoft ‘Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible’
- WebAIM PowerPoint Accessibility techniques
- Guide to ‘avoiding death by bullet point’ (scribd.com link) with good design advice from Adam Warren, Senior Learning Designer, University of Southampton.
- View a presentation without PowerPoint
- Save PowerPoint slides as PDF once you have checked for any accessibility issues
- S5 as alternative web presentation tool for presentations from Eric Meyer and Slidewiki as a collaborative accessible opensource web based presentation tool.