When choosing a PowerPoint template by aware that some offer a better colour contrast than others, whilst others may have a 'busy' background which might be distracting for a visually impaired or dyslexic student.
Microsoft have provided samples of accessible PowerPoint templates which can be downloaded.
The layout of the slides is important from an accessibility perspective, as set up correctly this can help ensure the correct heading structure and reading order is provided. Giving each slide a descriptive title will also make it easier for screen reader users to navigate the presentation.
Bullet points - If using bullet points or similar it is advisable to put a full stop at the end of each point, this will help ensure that a screen reader is able to identify each individual point as comprising a separate section and prevent different points being run together when the text is read aloud.
Hyperlinks - Write descriptive links and headings indicating what information the hyperlink leads to, as opposed to providing uninformative links (e.g. 'click here') and copying pasting whole url strings into the presentation text.
Adding ALT text for images, diagrams etc. is straight forward in PowerPoint. To do this right click on the image and select 'Format Picture'. This will then open up a menu on the right hand side of screen, from here select the third option ('Size and Properties') here you will see the option to add ALT text.
The Poet training tool can be helpful if you are seeking advice on how to appropriately describe something.
To edit a table in PowerPoint click within it, this will then open up two additional tabs in the menu bar, 'design' and 'layout' which are known as 'table tools'.
If the top row contains headings fo each column, ensure the 'Header Row' checkbox is ticked within the 'Design' tab.
If the first column contains headings for each row, ensure the 'First column' checkbox is ticked within the 'Design' tab..
In table styles ensure you have selected colours which offer a good contrast.
It is advised to use only simple tables in PowerPoint as 'nested' and 'merged' tables will not work with a screen reader. The accessibility checker in PowerPoint will check for issues such as this when it is run on a PowerPoint file.
For more information on this topic, including how built-in slide designs can support an inclusive reading order, please see Microsoft's PowerPoint accessibility guidance.
To run the accessibility checker within PowerPoint, select 'File'. Within the 'Info' section of the left hand menu you will then see the 'check for issues' option.
Under 'check for issues' you will see the second of these options is to check the accessibility of the document.
Common things which the accessibility checker will identify are:
Clicking on the issue in question will take you to the relevant slide, and in the case of ALT text will open the 'Format 'Picture' menu from which you can add the missing ALT text. See the relevant tabs in this guide for information on the specific area which you are looking to rectify.