[Athen] Accessible PowerPoint Slides

Rovner, Amy arovner at shoreline.edu
Thu Jun 4 10:45:27 PDT 2015

This is amazing information! Thank you so much for sharing to the group!!


Amy Rovner, MPH RD
Instructional Designer
Facilitator, Accessibility of Online Course Content FLC
eLearning Services
Shoreline Community College
(206) 546-6937

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Karlen Communications
Sent: Thursday, June 04, 2015 10:13 AM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Athen] Accessible PowerPoint Slides

Hi Everyone:

I sent this to Howard who suggested that I should share this with the list.

Note to Karen S: Thank you for letting me know that the Outline view is often accessed in PowerPoint instead of the normal slide layout view. Makes sense and another reason to use the Text and Content placeholders on slides as they will always appear in the Outline view.

The problem with using Text Boxes arises when the slides are sent as a slide show or need to be put into Braille or large print and we use the Outline view to do this because it is faster....if we create the slides correctly.

You will spend as much time copying and pasting the content to the background as you will copying and pasting them into the Outline version of the presentation. (F12, Save as Outline)

What I am doing as a best practice is to create the Word document (Outline) at the same time I am remediating the slides for accessibility. This gives me both versions of the presentation at the time of the presentation and clients can archive both versions. It also saves them work because most don't understand how to set up a well-structured Word document for Braille or large print.

You Save the presentation as an Outline, remove the formatting in the Word document/RTF (Ctrl + A then Alt + H, E to erase formatting), add the correct structure in Word using Styles, then begin remediating the horrid content/layout on slides using the Word document as a sandbox/final resting place for complete content. When you are finished, you have two accessible documents...well, the PowerPoint may not be able to be fully accessible due to its format type, you have the Word outline document to support it.

Since I have to copy the information out of horribly created text box-based slides anyway, might as well put it to good use.

My first "option" if these are your slides, is to use a default text or content placeholder, remove the bullets and numbering and then resize it for what you want. This is easy to do and I would even suggest creating a slide layout of one or two of these so you can access them easily from the Home Ribbon, Insert Slide.

There is a document on the Karlen Communications website on Adding Accessible Placeholders to PowerPoint:

I've just added a sample no design PowerPoint presentation with some custom slide layouts that you can copy into existing presentations and use. I wasn't sure if I could attach it to this post. The document is called Accessible Slide Templates and is on the Handouts page as well. I tested it and keep getting an error message when I choose to open the file...eventually it goes away if you click OK a few times...maybe try saving it instead of opening it. Am working on a solution. Let me know if you have problems and I'll send it to you directly.

Cheers, Karen
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