PowerPoint Accessibility Practice

Do you need some hands-on PowerPoint accessibility practice? Below you will find a practice file and an answer key file. There is an introduction video and an answer key video to follow along with.

Practice Files and Introduction

Download the practice file and watch the introduction video.

Practice01 Download

Answer Key

Download the Answer Key file and watch the video.

Answer 01 Download

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How to make Pie Charts Accessible in PowerPoint

This post will guide users through how to create an accessible pie chart in PowerPoint. Pie charts and bar graphs are inherently inaccessible when built within PowerPoint. There are additional steps that must be completed in order to make a pie chart accessible.

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Creating an accessible pie chart video overview

This video will provide a detailed walkthrough of how to make an accessible Pie Chart in PowerPoint.

An accessible pie chart includes the following elements:

  • Labels
  • Patterns
  • Do not rely on color alone
  • Alternate text
  • Data table is available

Example of accessible pie chart (image)

This image represents an accessible pie chart that includes labels and patterns.

This is an accessible pie chart which includes labels, patterns, and alternate text.

Add labels to a pie chart

There is no reason to hide or confuse data in a pie chart. Be specific and direct and add data labels to all data points in any chart!

  1. Right-click the pie chart
  2. Select Format Data levels
  3. Select the best options for the data labels
Right click the pie chart
Select Format Data levels
Select the best options for the data labels

Add patterns to a pie chart

Patterns are more accessible to a wider array of people with disabilities. Instead of relying on color alone (which is an accessibility failure) – use a pattern and a color.

  1. Right-click the Pie Chart
  2. Select Format Data Series
  3. Choose the appropriate pattern and color
Right click the Pie Chart
Select format Data Series
Choose the appropriate pattern and color

Add alternate text

  1. Right-click the entire chart object
  2. Select alternate text
  3. Enter a detailed alternate text

Right click the entire chart object
Select alternate text
Enter a detailed alternate text

Do you plan on converting the PowerPoint to another file type like PDF?

You might consider inserting the Pie Chart as a flattened image and providing alternate text instead. Screen readers can have difficulty reading the contents of a pie chart within the PPT itself.

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Captioning and Canvas Studio

Canvas Studio makes it easy to host a captioned video for content that you or someone else has created. This guide explains just how to do it!

Captioning is an important aspect of accessibility, and captioning in Canvas studio can be a breeze. If you are using Canvas and are posting videos; they need to be captioned. This post is not going to explain why captioning is important, but rather; how do you do it in Canvas Studio.

Canvas Studio offers a unique approach to captioning videos for content that you might own or do not own. It is also a premium feature – so be sure to check with your Canvas Admin to see if it is available.

Video Overview

This video will walk you through the steps needed to host a captioned video in Canvas Studio. The watch time is 2 minutes and 5 seconds.

Steps needed to host a captioned video in Canvas Studio

The basic premise is to get an SRT file, and then upload it into Canvas studio. Once you have the video captioned, it can easily be placed on the page. This section will cover the following steps:

  1. Get an SRT file for the video you want to caption
  2. Add the video to your Canvas Studio library
  3. Upload the SRT file to the captions section within Canvas Studio
  4. Insert the Video into the Canvas page

Step 1 – You have the SRT file right?

There are many tools to get an SRT file for a video that you are trying to caption. Here is one method using Otter.ai to create an SRT file. Make sure to edit it for accuracy!

Step 2 – Get the video into Canvas Studio Library

In order to properly display a video using Canvas Studio – it must be added to your library. Here are the steps:

  1. After logging into Canvas – select the Studio button on the left column.
    The studio button in canvas
  2. Select Add in the top right corner
    adding new media to canvas studio
  3. Upload a raw video file or use a YouTube link
    Upload a raw video file or a youtube link to canvas studio

Step 3: Upload the SRT (caption file) to the video itself

  1. In Canvas studio, ensure you are in My Library
  2. Select the video you want to add a caption too
    Select the video from your library that you want to add captions too
  3. Select the caption tab
  4. Upload English captions
    Select the caption tab and upload english captions

Step 4: Place the video into a canvas page

Get into edit mode on the canvas page that you want to add your newly captioned video

  1. Select the apps button in the Rich Content Editor
  2. Select Studio
    select apps and select studio
  3. Select the video to place onto the page
    select the video you want to add

That’s it!

Are you working with documents like PowerPoint, PDFs, or Microsoft Word files? Check out some of my other posts.

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Slide titles should be unique in PowerPoint for Accessibility

Slide titles should be unique. Every slide in the slide deck should have a purposeful name. It’s easy to use duplicate titles but do your best to avoid duplicates.

Slide titles are easy to manage if using an accessible slide theme.

How to apply slide titles in PowerPoint Video Overview

Why should I have unique slide titles?

People who rely on assistive technology to review presentations will often navigate by the heading or title structure. If you end up converting the document to another format like PDF, the slide titles will come through as headings.

Failing Example

In the example below there are 5 different slides that share the exact same title.

There are 5 different slides that share the exact same title. Slide titles should be unique

Passing Example

In order to apply unique slide titles simply add a number to the end of each slide. The quickest method to change the title of a slide is to edit in outline view.

  1. Select View
  2. Select Outline View
Slide titles should be unique

Then simply add a number or change the title altogether. The image below shows an outline view of a presentation with numbers added to make slide titles independent.

Add a number to the end of the slide titles. Slide titles should be unique


The built-in accessibility checker within PowerPoint is exceptional at notifying of this error. Would you rather hide the slide titles?

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Outline View and Textboxes in PowerPoint

Content should appear in the outline view. Sometimes using textboxes can interfere with accessibility, so only use them if they are a part of your accessible slide design theme.

Outline view and textboxes in PowerPoint Video Walkthrough

In order for content to be the most accessible to people who use screen readers it is recommended that all content appears in the outline view of PowerPoint. The outline view shows a text-based version of the content with your file.

Additionally, the outline view offers a snapshot of all of the major content types in your presentation. It is an excellent method for organizing and chunking your information. It is also a great way to create a quickly accessible version for people with disabilities!

To view the outline view

  1. Select View
  2. Select Outline view
  3. Review titles and content to ensure all content from slide is located in outline view
Select View
Select Outline view
Review titles and content to ensure all content from slide is located in outline view.
Outline View and Textboxes in PowerPoint

Avoid using added text boxes

The textbox feature will allow you to add extra content to a slide but it might not be accessible and it will not appear in Outline View properly. Additionally, it will cause extra problems when adjusting the reading and arrange order.

How do I ensure my content is in outline view?

This is purely based on using a theme and a slide template.

  1. On the home ribbon, select Layout
  2. Select the template you would like use
Outline View and Textboxes in PowerPoint

The last step of this process is to actually use the content boxes to place your content. Do not add additional text boxes in this step. Simply click into one of the content boxes to add the desired information. Using a template will not only add all content to the outline view, but it will also be in the correct reading order!

Additional Information

Edit the slide master theme in order to develop custom templates and ensure all the content is in order and available in the outline view.

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