Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

CUNY LIBRARIES ARE OPEN ONLINE! We are open online for reference & instruction. E-resources are fully available. Library buildings remain closed.

Support Students Impacted by Coronavirus Crisis Donate Now

Accessibility Toolkit for Open Educational Resources (OER): PowerPoint [Updated 2020]

Accessibility guide for creating OER
Key PowerPoint Accessibility Tips:
  • PowerPoint presentations tend to be highly visual, and people who are blind or have low vision can understand them more easily if you create your slides with accessibility in mind.
  • Use built-in templates and layouts.
  • Give each slide a unique title.
  • Add alternative text descriptions to images.
  • Use bulleted and numbered lists.
  • Avoid the use of text boxes (use content placeholders on template layouts instead).
  • Tab through each slide to ensure correct reading order.

​​​​​​​​​​Getting Started with Presentation Accessibility [New 2020]

To help you remember the best practices for presentation accessibility, use the mnemonic SLIDE, which stands for:

  • Slide titles are descriptive and unique.
  • Links are meaningful.
  • Images have text alternatives.
  • Design is perceivable and predictable.
  • Empathy drives design.

Creating Accessible PowerPoint

How to Use PowerPoint to Create Live Subtitles and Translations

Live caption a lecture, click to start slideshow.

Attribution: [Wolfe, Amy] (2020, May, 13) Live Caption a Lecture [ppt]. Retrieved from

Attribution: [Academic Algonquin] (2013, Aug. 1) Creating Accessible PowerPoint Presentations [Video File]. Retrieved from

Evaluate your PowerPoint

The PowerPoint Accessibility Checker helps you find and fix accessibility issues. It creates a report of the issues it finds, and explains why each issue might create a problem. Finally, it tells you how to fix the issue.

To run the accessibility checker in Windows:

  1. Select "File"
  2. Select "Check for Issues: Inspect Presentation"
  3. Select the "Check Accessibility" in the dropdown menu

To run the accessibility checker on a Mac:

  1. Select Review > Check Accessibility.

Note: If you get a message saying "Unable to run the Accessibility Checker. Cannot check the current file type for accessibility issues"  it just means the file has not been saved to the newest "pptx" version.  This is easy to fix.

  1. Select "Save As"
  2. Choose "PowerPoint Presentation (*.pptx)"
  3. Run "Check Accessibility" again and you will now see any accessibility issues