Bloomberg School of Public Health PowerPoint Template
All lectures in online courses should be developed using the Bloomberg School’s accessible PowerPoint template (in .potx format). For guidance on using this template, please refer to the Sample PowerPoint [.pptx] and the PDF documents 5 Tips for Using CTL’s PowerPoint Template (see below) and PowerPoint Best Practices Checklist. These best practices embed techniques for maintaining accessible documents. For further details, you can also talk to your instructional designer or refer to the Center for Teaching and Learning’s (CTL’s) Best Practices for Asynchronous Lectures.
Five Tips for Using the PowerPoint Template
Tip 1: Review the Template
Start with the sample PowerPoint file or the most recent POTX template. (Open the template and SAVE AS a PPTX file to begin.) Always use the placeholders, layouts, and theme in this template. If you import slides from another presentation, make sure to reuse them without their source formatting. Otherwise, the content will not be universally accessible.
Tip 2: Use Placeholders
Placeholders are the boxes with dotted borders which will hold the slide’s content. The template has placeholders in each slide layout. For each new slide, choose the layout whose placeholders best match the objects you want on that slide. All content must be added using a placeholder on the applied slide layout. The Title placeholder must be used on every slide so that each slide has a unique title.* Beyond the title, use only the text, table, chart, and picture placeholders to create the most universally accessible presentation.
The title and text are entered by clicking inside their placeholders and typing. Clicking on the “Insert Table” or “Insert Chart” placeholder icon will open the appropriate prompt that can be stepped through to enter the data and customize the object’s design. Click on the “Pictures” placeholder icon to browse to a saved image file and insert it on a slide. All flowcharts, “Smart Art,” and other grouped objects should first be saved as pictures before using the image (“Pictures”) placeholder. And while it is best to create tables and charts via the table and chart placeholders so that the original data are saved with the presentation, these objects can also be saved as pictures and then imported using the image placeholder.
Tip 3: Provide Alternative Text and Use Only Properly Sourced Images
Alternative (alt) text is required for universal accessibility. This is the helpful text that briefly describes any image that is not just decorative (e.g., "Magnified cross sections of normal bone matrix and osteoporosis"). Alternative text is entered into the Description field of the image properties when you format an image. Alternative text should also be used to summarize the information presented on a table or chart in their properties’ Description field. In addition, make sure any data and images that are not your own (with copyright clearance, as necessary) are properly cited and include the DOI (digital object identifier) when it is available.
Tip 4: Be Thoughtful with Formatting Choices and Avoid Animations
Placeholders can be resized, moved, formatted, or even deleted. It is OK to resize text; however, font sizes should be at least 11 points. You can use color to accentuate text and annotate graphics if it is used in combination with something else (bold, italics, etc.). This includes lines on graphs; consider different line types and data point markers to distinguish data. There should also be sufficient color contrast between adjacent or overlapping objects, including text inside of table cells. And all animations, including animated text, must be avoided (CTL can help with “mimicking” an animation if it is important to the presentation.)
Tip 5: Correct Your Reading Order
The reading order is the sequence in which a screen reader reads the objects (text boxes, image alt text, etc.) on a slide. The slide title should be read first and will set up the logical structure of the slide's information. The CTL template has an appropriate reading order, but it should be verified because it is easily changed when editing a slide’s content. The PC and more recent Mac versions of Microsoft Office display reading order in the Selection Pane. (To better understand reading order, search for "Manage Objects" in your PowerPoint Help tool.)
PowerPoint's Accessibility Checker will flag duplicate slide titles and missing alt text.
Johns Hopkins University PowerPoint Template
The University template is available for download along with a Checklist for Making Accessible MS Office and PDF Documents [.docx] from the Office of Institutional Equity's Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility site.