Creating Accessible Presentations


General guidelines

  • Use slide layouts.
  • Check slide reading order.
  • Avoid watermarks, background images and color (use the Color Contrast Analyzer to check for sufficient contrast). 
  • Use bullets and end statements in a period. 
  • Add alternative (Alt) text to all images, charts and graphs. For purely decorative images, use "" as the alternative text. This designation tells screen readers to skip over the image. 
  • Provide table summaries. 
  • Caption/transcribe audio. 
  • Use slide notes to describe slide content. 

Detailed resources


You can upload presentations exported from PowerPoint or Keynote to YouTube. Videos created with Blackboard's Video Everywhere tool are also stored on YouTube. YouTube has options for both automated and manual video captioning.


Echo360 (personal capture) is a tool for creating screen capture videos. It can be used for narrated PowerPoint lectures, web tours, or an introduction to your Blackboard course space. 

If you have a student with a documented disability in your class, you can have your presentations captions by Cielo24. Contact UMass disability services to make arrangements. 


VoiceThread is a tool for creating interactive threaded discussions. It is also a simple option for recorded student presentations. VoiceThread Universal is a screen-reader friendly HTML version of the interface. You can also add closed caption files to all VoiceThread comments. If you have a student with a documented disability in your class, contact UMass disability services to make arrangements for captioning.