Microsoft PowerPoint Files

This guidance aims to help staff when using Microsoft PowerPoint to create a presentation which is fully accessible by any and all UU participants. Ensuring digital content is accessible will remove anticipatable barriers, promoting student inclusion and wellbeing by preventing stress and potential disengagement. These ‘good practice’ measures should be introduced and maintained when designing all presentations, irrespective of who the presentation is aimed at.

General Advice

When creating MS PowerPoint Presentations ensure you:

  • Use short concise ideas and content. Use bullet points and lists where appropriate (always use the correct list format option for these, do not create them manually using the keyboard).
  • Ensure consistency; if you end a bullet point or item in a list with punctuation (e.g. a Full Stop, Semi-Colon or Comma) repeat this for all bullet points.
  • Ensure the text is a minimum size of 24.
  • Use a sans serif font such as Arial, Verdana or Calibri.

Slide Layout

  • Choose the built-in slide layout appropriate for your requirements.
    • On the Home tab, click on the Layout icon.
    • Once selected the slide layout options will be displayed.
  • Avoid blank slides as choosing the blank template you remove all the in-built headings and structure that a design layout provides. Heading and structure is needed by those with a visual impairment to navigate the presentation quickly and easily.
  • Avoid adding text boxes to the chosen layout, these may be read in the incorrect order.

Background Colours

  • Choose a high colour contrast between your background and text. Where possible avoid black on white as this combination can cause glare for some members of your audience ideally use the corporate navy and off-white colour.
  • The colours chosen for the text and slide background should provide good contrast without glare. For example, dark blue combined with a light cream colour has good legibility.
  • Avoid green on red and vice versa. Some of your audience may be colour blind.
  • To amend the background colour within the slide navigate to Design > Format Background. From the dialogue box that opens select the ‘fill’ then ‘fill colour’ to view available colours.
  • Once an appropriate colour has been selected you can apply it in one of two ways. If you wish the background colour to be shown on all slides select ‘Apply to All’, if the background colour should only be applied to that specific slide select ‘Apply’.
  • If using a dark background put text in bold.
  • Generally, avoid using bold or all capitals for large blocks of text as it can be difficult to read particularly on a light background.
  • Never use colour alone to convey information, if text is coloured for emphasis it must also be formatted, for example, in bold.
  • When in a physical teaching space adapt your colours to your venue (if you are familiar with the venue). It is easier to read dark coloured text on a light coloured background in a bright venue, and dark backgrounds with a text light in dark venues.

Video and Audio Content

Don’t provide AV information in only one format: Always provide an alternative so visual information is explained and/or described using audio and audio information is described in writing.

Provide a text transcript for the AV material within the notes field of the slide.

Ensure that you provide text or audio alternative to explain visual information on slide. This could be you verbally describing/explaining what is on the screen eg.  ‘this chart shows …. ‘

Checking Accessibility

MS PowerPoint has an in-built tool to allow you check the level of accessibility of your document. This tool will check your document, highlight any issues and provide guidance on how to correct the issues.

  • To check the accessibility of your presentation go to the Review tab on the horizontal ribbon bar, then click on Check Accessibility.
  • The report will display to the right of your slides.

Presenting in an inclusive Manner

  • Circulate your presentation in advance.
  • Vocalise all content on your PowerPoint Slides.
  • Consider your pace. Don’t speak too fast.
  • Face the audience.
  • Use PowerPoint to highlight key terms.
  • In a physical teaching setting use a microphone if possible.
  • Use Lecture Capture so participants can access or review the presentation content.
  • Turn on automatic captioning to allow participants with a hearing loss, English as a second language and all learners to read what is being said by the presenters.
    • Go to the Slide Show tab & click on the box ‘always use subtitles’.