This section provides information about making digital content more accessible for users.
Automatic Captioning or Subtitles in your Powerpoint Presentations
Office 365’s Powerpoint has a feature that uses your microphone to take in what you are saying as you speak to your slides in “presentation mode”, and displays it as text within your presentation.
A good internet connection is required as the Speech to Text work is being done over external servers. There is a slight delay as can be seen in the example video below.
In the example below is a video of a live Powerpoint presentation with captioning as the speaker reads the text. It is intended to illustrate pace and clarity of voice as well as accuracy of th captioning.
Normally you would be speaking about the slide being shown, not reading the text to students.
A quiet room, clear and paced pronunciation, provide fairly accurate texts.
Providing subtitles as you present adds another means of accessing what you are trying to communicate to your audience. For those students who have a hearing impairment or auditory processing difficulties this approach makes your content more available.
In a distance context, this feature works well when you share your screen and then talk to your Powerpoint presentation. Students can even turn their speakers down or off and still follow.
* If you change the Subtitle Language setting, it will translate your spoken word to the selected language.
Information on how to turn on this feature are straight forward and work on Windows and Mac computers (for the presenters).
When producing documents for student use it is important ot consider the accessibilty of the font that is used. It is much easier to read texts that use a sans-serif typeface. This results in fonts whose letters do not resemble each other. Some of the most common sans-serif fonts are Arial, Verdana, Ubuntu, Tahomas, Comic Sans and Open Dyslexic.
With much of the school work going on line it is important to remember that documents should be accessible to all students. Not all PDF's are created equal. In some cases they are no more than a photo of a document. Text cannot be selected and therefore TTS (Text to Speech) will not work.
In some cases teachers also want to provide documents where information and instructions are not editable by the student but, there are spaces to write text, use radio buttons or check boxes (as in a form or a quiz).
Acrobat Pro is the go to software for creating such documents, but it is not free and has its own structure and environment for creating a PDF.
LibreOffice is free and offers tools that work inside the Word Processor environment to create Interactive and Accessible PDF documents.
The standard Acrobat Reader (free) can be used by the student to work in the document. WordQ will read both the given texts and what the student writes.
The Teacher can also use Acrobat Reader to then comment and give feedback to the student on the document.
As PDF's, these documents can be saved and moved back and forth from computer to School Servers (TEAMS, GDrive, PORTALS).
Instructions on how to create these PDF's (English) Download PDF
The UK Government has produced a series of eight posters to support better digital accessibility design for the different audiences with special needs. They address ASD, low vision, dyslexia, physical and motor disabilities, hearing impaiments, anxiety and screen reader do's and don'ts.
The information is based on best practices in the design field.
A download link and tips are provided on the site link below.
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