Creating Accessible Presentations

  • We strongly recommend using PowerPoint to design your presentation (rather than Prezi or Canva or Google Slides). PowerPoint is typically the easiest to navigate as well as provides the most support for designing an accessible presentation.
  • PowerPoint Presentation slides should make sense if they are printed out.
  • Tips on making your Presentation Accessible:
Font Sans serif fonts such as Helvetica, Arial, Verdana, Calibri, and Antique Olive
Font Size 32pt + font size (except for charts and tables, see below). This is larger than PowerPoint’s default, but it ensures that text is viewable at any distance and that a slide does not overload the viewer with information. If your text is overflowing the box or slide, consider splitting it up into multiple slides.
Font Size (Charts and Tables 24+. Charts should have alternative text descriptions, tables should have a clear header row or the first row describing the content that is in the columns below it.
Avoid Italics Use bold, underlining, and “quotation marks” for words and phrases needing emphasis rather than italics, which are less visually accessible. 
Shadows Do not use shadows on text.
Colors Font and background colors should have high contrast, meaning light font on a dark background or dark font on a light background. Never use gray as it is the least accessible color for attendees with visual impairments due to its lack of contrast with every color, including white. When creating graphs or visual displays please remember that some people cannot distinguish between specific colors (e.g., red/green). 
Image Alt Text Images related to presentations (non-decorative) should have alternative text provided. Alternative text is a brief description of the image that can be attached in PowerPoint. 
Music, Images, Video Avoid the use of loud music or flashing images, video, and/or lights during your presentation, but if necessary, let attendees know before the beginning of the presentation so attendees with sensory issues can plan accordingly.
GIFs Avoid GIFS, animations, and moving transitions. These can cause migraines or nausea in some people. 
Video Captioning If including a video, make sure captions are included.

Suggestions For Presenting in an Accessible Way

  • Fully engaging in a presentation is different for each attendee. The clarity of your presentation is important. 
    • Use the microphone so that audience members, members listening to the recording afterward through OnDemand, and communication access providers can clearly understand you. 
  • Speaking quickly is a natural response to exciting or stressful situations. When possible, try to speak slowly and clearly to assist the captionist/interpreter, people who are lip-reading, and AI-generated captions for participants joining remotely.  
  • Provide a brief image description of yourself when presenting (e.g., I am a white woman with brown hair, glasses, and today I am wearing a black top and pants.)
  • Please make sure to describe images and how they relate to the content during your presentation.  Do not say “as you can see on this slide” or “looking at this chart” as that assumes everyone can see.
  • During the question and discussion portions, make sure that all audience members can hear the questions.Anyone speaking must use a microphone or repeat the question once it has been asked.
  • Familiarize yourself with ways to make the session more accessible. Resources include: How to Make Your Presentations Accessible to All, Using Personal Pronouns, Just Use A Microphone Already, and the ASHE Conference Accessibility website.

Uploading Your PowerPoint Presentation

  • Based on the recommendation of the ASHE Accessibility Workgroup, ASHE is beginning a transition to require presenters to upload their PowerPoint presentations before their session. This allows attendees to preview the presentation materials ahead of time for better engagement with the session, allows the ASHE Staff to review the presentations to ensure they are most accessible, as well as allows captionist/interpreter to preview the presentation to ensure accurate translation of materials.
  • For 2022, all presenters with a PowerPoint presentation are strongly encouraged to upload their presentation by November 8, 2022 at Noon Pacific. We recognize that some sessions such as Interactive Symposia, PVDS, etc. may not have a PowerPoint presentation and they will not need to upload anything.
  • For 2022, all presenters in sessions where there is an accessibility request for the presentation ahead of time are required to upload their presentation by November 8 at Noon Pacific. We will notify presenters of these requests no later than October 1.
  • Presentations should be uploaded in PowerPoint format rather than converting to a PDF. This allows the accessibility aspects of the presentation to remain in place. presenters may want to protect their presentations from being edited before upload. There are numerous resources available online with instructions on how to do this.
  • Presentations will only be accessible through the Virtual Ticket platform ( Attendees are responsible to the ASHE Events Code of Conduct and Ethics Policies. As such, presentations remain the intellectual property of presenters and may not be copied or disseminated without the express written permission of the presenters. 
    • This statement will be included on the PlaybackASHE website and presenters may include this (and any other language) on a cover page of their presentation.
    • Any violation of the ASHE Code of Conduct or Ethics Policies can be reported to ASHE Executive Director/Ethics Officer Dr. Jason P. Guilbeau at
  • The link to upload your presentation is ASHE Presentation Upload Form.