WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Presentations: video presentation versus presentation software?


From: Preast, Vanessa
Date: Jun 29, 2016 9:12AM


In higher education, PowerPoints and other presentation tools are plentiful. I'd like to make sure I have some good advice, especially for those instructors who are creating presentations with complex features. (I'm relatively new to the accessibility field, so I'm still learning.)

From an accessibility standpoint, which option is best for a presentation intended for distance learners in an asynchronous learning environment?

1) Make a video of the presentation with the instructor clearly explaining all relevant content on the slides, such as describing any complex animations (e.g., chemical pathways) in a step-by-step fashion. When the video is available in an accessible video player, we would also add captions and a transcript (or detailed lecture notes).

2) Provide the PowerPoint file with audio narration and the "script" in the notes field.

3) A PDF copy of option 2 with the notes as annotations

4) some other option

Some of my instructional design colleagues lean towards option 1 because they feel that it provides a much better learning experience than giving students a standalone PowerPoint file. From an accessibility standpoint, I'm also tending to lean towards option 1, since it seems like a good way for the chemistry instructors to reveal the chemical pathways in a step-by-step fashion without causing some really weird stuff happening with a screen reader due to all the objects used to create the chemical structure and flowchart.

Additional PowerPoint questions:

* Would option 1 be a reasonable way to help make Prezi presentations more accessible?

* Is there ever a time when providing a PowerPoint file is superior to saving the file as a PDF?

* Are there resources out there for making PowerPoint files accessible when they involve complex graphics or animations that benefit the instructional goals (e.g., chemical structures or flowcharts....)? I've seen plenty of basic PPT accessibility guidelines, but nothing for handling some of the things our instructors want to do.