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Accessibility Toolkit for Open Educational Resources (OER): Prezi

Accessibility guide for creating OER


Prezi Design, a cloud-based graphic design tool used to create and share dynamic designs and data visualizations.You pick a template, add your content or data, and share your creation.

There are various opinions on whether Prezi is accessible.  In 2018 Prezi Support wrote a blog post about how Prezi Design was accessible and WCAG compliant.  Within the blog post they posted how-to tips, which I've included.  However, several other sources (Universities and businesses) have written about how Prezi is not ADA compliant.

General Prezi Tips

Here are some key tips to keep in mind when creating a Prezi presentation

  • Limit amount of information on each slide.
  • Use a sans serif typeface (Arial is best) of font size 28 or above.
  • Avoid long sentences.
  • Avoid the use of italics and continuous capitals.
  • When printing hand-outs print no more than 2 slides per page.
  • Use plain English and avoid the use of abbreviations.
  • Do not use color as the only indicator of meaning e.g. priority items shown in red.
  • Provide text descriptions for pictorial elements or graphs.
  • Ensure there is sufficient contrast between the font color and the background color.

Prezi Support 2018: Creating accessible content in Prezi Design

Making Prezi content visible to screen readers

Screen readers help people who are visually impaired use a computer, rendering the text into audible speech. By enabling the Visible to screen readers option in the settings panel, you will be able to add a label and description to charts, maps, images, or icons, as well as grouped objects. The description will then be rendered from text to speech.

  1. When working on a design, click on an object to select it.
  2. From the settings panel on your right, open the Accessibility tab.
  3. Enable Visible to screen readers (the option is enabled by default).
  4. Add a Label, so people understand what the particular piece of content is. For example, you could write one of the following: a bar chart on monthly sales, a regional map of Finland, an image of the ocean, etc.
  5. Provide a coherent text alternative to the visual in the Description field. Be short, concise, and express the summary in a way that brings the visual to life.
  6. Select the language of the design—this will indicate what kind of voice the screen reader should use. The language dropdown menu is available in the settings panel on the right. To view the settings of the whole design, click outside of any of the objects located on the canvas.

Source: Prezi Support (2018) Creating accessible content in Prezi Design. Prezi Inc.

Prezi not ADA Compliant

  • Accessibility: Prezi is not ADA/ 508 compliant and has been deemed an “inaccessible service” by Web2Access.
  • Medical considerations: Presentations created in Prezi have been reported to cause dizziness, headaches, and motion sickness.
  • Interactivity: Prezi is not interactive beyond selecting which part of the screen you want to zoom to, or hyperlinking out to a URL. There is no way to include questions, click-to-reveals, or anything else that requires a learner to interact with the content.

Source: Ritter, Jennifer (Nov. 4) PowerPoint or Prezi: Which is Best for eLearning? Digitec Interactive Knowledge Direct

Why Prezi is not recommended

Prezi does not support Disability Access and is not compliant with the ADA. Because features such as zooming in and out or rotating the visual field place a high demand on the learner's cognitive load, Prezi focuses learners attention on the visuals, distracting the learners from the content and the instructor.

Prezi is a presentation tool, similar to PowerPoint and Keynote. Consider the following if you are thinking about using Prezi.

  1. Prezi does not support Disability Access and is not compliant with the ADA.
  2. Because features such as zooming in and out or rotating the visual field place a high demand on the learner’s cognitive load, Prezi focuses learners attention on the visuals, distracting the learners from the content and the instructor.
  3. Prezi can cause motion sickness, which can be highly distracting for anyone in the audience.
  4. Creating a Prezi presentation can take the instructor’s focus away from more important learner-centered activities such as developing active learning strategies and engaging assignments.
  5. Most good talks with Prezi use features that could have been done in any other type of slide presentation software, so it is not worth the time invested to overcome the learning curve.
  6. Learning Prezi can be time intensive, and faculty are time-poor.
  7. You don’t own your presentations, they live on, unless you purchase a copy of the desktop version of the program.
  8. Prezi presentations are not easily portable to other formats, such as PowerPoint or KeyNote.

Source: Sheridan Center Resource (n.d) 8 Reasons Why Prezi Is Not Recommended For Teaching. Harriet W. Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning Brown University.

Improving the Accessibility of PREZI

Information on how to improve the accessibility of PREZI.

At the moment PREZI is often inaccessible to disabled people. The company have promised to address this in the future, but in the meantime we would recommend that PREZI is not used. If you have to use PREZI the following are some guidelines to assist you in making it as accessible as possible.

Improving the Accessibility of PREZI

  • Always ensure you have a full version of the presentation in an alternative format that can be emailed out in advance as well as paper copies of the individual slides. Having a full copy of the overall layout of the presentation may be useful for some users.
  • Make sure the fact the presentation is available in alternative formats is clearly advertised to users.
  • When using movement ensure the movement to the new screen happens first and then the text arrives statically afterwards i.e. use automation to display text/images once movement to new Path Step is complete.

Source: Galt, Viki. Disability Information Officer (2018, Sept. 14) Improving the Accessibility of PREZI The University of Edinburgh