As you stand at the rostrum remember that your audience could be made of fellow people like yourself. Some might have refractive errors requiring the use of spectacles or contact lenses, some might have low vision or be blind, and some may have other print impairments such as dyslexia or colour blindness. What they will all share is a difficulty to follow and absorb the full impact of your impending presentation.
The World Blind Union is offering some guidance on how to maximise your impact by ensuring that your presentation, and your delivery technique, is as accessible as possible to all your audience members. They contain both practical information and good-practice guidance.
Remember - According to the World Health Organisation there are 314 million visually impaired people in the world today. 37 million are blind, 124 million are low vision after best correction, and 153 million are visually impaired due to uncorrected refractive error causing problems with distance vision. Additionally, it is generally accepted that up to 4% of the population suffer from severe dyslexia. Your audience may include people from all of these categories.
Three Simple Steps to Create Accessible PowerPoint Presentations
- Remove Animations and Slide Transitions. If you knew how to create ‘em in the first place, you should know how to take ‘em out. ‘nuf said.
- Add Alt Text to All Images and SmartArt. Also easy. Right click on the image, then select “size and position” and “alt text.” Make the description meaningful but succinct, like the way you’d want it described to you if you were in a rush and someone were reading it to you. Be sure to do this with SmartArt too by selecting the full frame containing the SmartArt.
- Make Sure URL’s Have Actual URL’s. Right click on the link, choose “edit hyperlink” and make sure there’s a bona fide URL there.