Accessible Presentations – Multimedia, Animations & Transitions


Be sure that any linked multi-media is accessible, too. Audio clips should have transcripts. Videos should have captions. Transcripts are also helpful for videos.

Be advised that embedded media does not work when PPT slides are converted to PDF.

Animations and Transitions

Do not use animations or transitions if you are distributing your PowerPoint online or as a PDF.

On the other hand, simple animations/transitions should be accessible if the user has downloaded the PowerPoint.

If you’re distributing your presentation as a PowerPoint, you will need to be sure that any interactive elements may be used with the keyboard alone. Users should not be forced to use a mouse. Go to the Transitions tab and the Timing Area. Make sure that the Advance Slide option is checked for On Mouse Click. (Even though it says on mouse click, this allows the user to use the keyboard to advance each slide.)

PowerPoint 2013 Transitions tab, Timing Area, highlighting Advance Slide One Mouse Click

If you’ve included some simple animations, you’ll need to make sure they are accessible with the keyboard alone, too. Go to the Animations tab in the Timing Area. Make sure that the Start option is set to Start on Click.

PowerPoint 2013 Animations tab, Timing area highlighting Start options

Main point: Animations and transitions may help reinforce your material or add finishing touches for face-to-face presentations, but it’s best to avoid them if you’re distributing your presentation.

We’ll discuss checking your PPT for accessibility and converting your PPT to PDF for distribution next week.

Bonus! If you’re looking for more ideas, check out these Learning Styles & Active Learning Boot Camp workshops this month (November). Details and registration are available on our CAPE TeamUp Calendar.

  • Creating Engaging Presentations with Matt Wiley
  • Active Learning Tools with Deb Butler

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