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Re: Presentations: video presentation versus presentation software?


From: Jennifer Sutton
Date: Jun 29, 2016 10:29AM

Hello Vanessa and all:

While I will do my best to answer your questions in detail below,
inline, beginning with JS, I would also suggest that the ATHEN email
list might be a good place to get a focused response from colleagues in
higher ed, in case you need more information. One idea that occurs to me
is that some of your solutions may be elearning platform-dependent. If
you're not already subscribed, see:


On 6/29/2016 8:12 AM, Preast, Vanessa wrote:
> Greetings,
> 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?
JS: I think this question of "best" isn't one I'd feel comfortable
guessing at. I suspect that "best" will be the approaches and tools that
faculty and other staff will use, coupled with being prepared to provide
additional options, based on student requests.

> 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).

JS: You might want to explore this further. I'm not sure that detailed
lecture notes are an equivalent to captions and a transcript. I would
suggest you need captions and a transcript + detailed lecture notes, as

> 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

JS: Generally, options are good for all learners.

> 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?

JS: I'd say that entirely depends on how either file format is created.
Both can and should be made accessible. I'd think the better way is the
way that faculty (with appropriate staff supports) will actually do,
again coupled with what students need in order to learn the material.

> * 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.

JS: I'll provide a few resources, below my name. I'm not sure there are
the kinds of specific "how to"s you're looking for because my hunch is
that people learn the principles and adapt them, as needed. For example,
it might be hard to include all of the information a blind person might
need from a Flowchart, within the restrictions of the PPT format (or the
PDF, for that matter), so, if I were in that situation, I might get
creative and provide a supplemental Word or text file (or something like

> In my experience, flexibility and creativity are your friends, even if it might seem easier to have a set of specific hard and fast rules. I'd also note that you might look around for places to get higher ed.-specific training (or for your colleagues to do so). These are all topics/questions with which the higher ed. community has been working for many years. In my experience, solutions often come down to being less about capturing every little technique and more about setting up reasonable workflows so faculty, staff, and student expectations are managed and met.

> Best, and good luck.


*** PowerPoint:

Creating accessible PowerPoint presentations - Office Support

NCDAE Cheat Sheets (including one on PPT):

*** Accessible PDFs:
I'm going to skip this, assuming you've got it covered.

*** Animations (even if not PPT-specific, perhaps concepts may prove

Designing Safer Web Animation For Motion Sensitivity · An A List Apart

More Resources for Accessible Animations · An A List Apart Blog Post

Web Accessibility - Best Practices - Web - Animation

Animations AccessAbility

*** Flowcharts:

IBM Human Ability and Accessibility Center Accessible Analytics

Accessibility at Penn State Charts & Accessibility

Create Accessible Infographic presentation last-child
[Of course, infographics aren't flowcharts, but I think this
presentation offers a good overview of ways to present visual information.]