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Recently, the Crabby Office Lady did a series of blog posts on Accessibility, including a round-up of the accessibility features and technologies available in all of Office 2010. And that got me thinking about the many things you can do in PowerPoint to make your presentations more accessible.
Just like curb cuts that were originally designed for people using wheelchairs - but turned out to benefit people with strollers, skateboards, or bikes - many of the suggestions that PowerPoint MVP Glenna Shaw discusses in the articles below will make your presentations better for everyone.
Glenna has a certificate in Accessible Information Technology and specializes in creating files that are fully accessible to persons using assistive technology, so she really knows her stuff. (You can learn more about Glenna on her website and at her blog.)
In her article, Add captions, annotations, or subtitles to presentations, Glenna shows how adding these to your presentation benefits everyone. Note that although the article references PowerPoint 2007, it applies to PowerPoint 2010 as well.
And much like magazines from previous years still have good recipes and dieting tips, you can find many good chunks of information in this three part series originally written by Glenna for PowerPoint 2003.
Part 1: Understanding accessibility
Part 2: Creating accessible presentations
Part 3: Sharing accessible presentations
Part 1 provides background information, Part 2 has good information about colors and fonts, and Part 3 discusses the different types of formats that you can save your presentation into and the different delivery methods.
Oh, and don't miss my colleague Turi Henderson's excellent article on Creating accessible PowerPoint presentations. Turi discusses the Accessibility Checker, which is new to PowerPoint 2010, and shows you how this tool makes it easier to check your presentation for issues that might make it challenging for a person with a disability. It has lots of tips on creating a presentation that is accessible to all people - just like curb cuts.
-- Mary Sobczyk, for the PowerPoint blog team