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Accessibility in PowerPoint Presentation Design: Presentations and Dyslexia

Ulfah Alifah
Ulfah Alifah
accessibility in powerpoint presentation design

Table of Contents

Every presenter wants their messages to be delivered clearly to every single audience they face. To acquire that, a good presenter needs to study and learn a lot from their own experience. But according to Bright Carbon, there is a lot of chance. Not all your audiences get your messages.

Why? Your presentations must have included some PowerPoint slides, including some texts, and required the audience to read. That will not be a massive problem for most people, but for people with dyslexia, it would be almost impossible.

Around 1 in 10 people are affected by dyslexia, which means many people have it on this planet. So, should we ignore their case and pretend like their number means nothing? Of course, we cannot ignore it.

Good presenters ignore no one in their audience, and their biggest mission is to deliver every drop of information to all of their audience. And for this particular case, there is a way to make those with dyslexia understand your messages more easily.

Be a good presenter, and embrace every single uniqueness you meet when presenting your presentation. Here, in this article, let’s talk about accessibility in PowerPoint presentation design: presentations and dyslexia.

Dyslexia, the most common accessibility in PowerPoint presentation design

Humans are born different from each other, and thus we say every single person is unique. Some people are born more memorable than others, like having dyslexia. Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty.

According to The Dyslexia Association, people with dyslexia find it a little more difficult to learn things the way many other people know. However, it doesn’t mean that they cannot learn anything at all.  Most people with dyslexia have visually solid problem-solving skills.

A lot of people with dyslexia are among the most intelligent people in their fields. Albert Einstein, Robin Williams, Pablo Picasso, and George Washington are among the best people in their areas, and all suffered from this condition.

This condition is not a disease that can spread to others or be cured with medicine. It is just proof that each person sees this world differently, and their view is slightly different from most people’s.

That’s why we should not seclude them from our activities, including PowerPoint presentations. We should also embrace them and present them with the information that they deserve.

Dyslexia and presentation

So, what makes a person with dyslexia find ordinary presentations challenging to understand? The reason is that they find it difficult to read or interred written words, letters, and symbols. And it applies to every single written object.

We all know that a PowerPoint presentation includes many written words as means of communication to the audience. That’s why the information that people with dyslexia can quickly process during PowerPoint presentations is the spoken messages.

Our conventional presentation method doesn’t accommodate their unique needs to absorb and process information. Thus, the number of information people with dyslexia can get from our presentation is usually lower than expected.

As a result, when asked for feedback from a recent presentation, people with dyslexia usually fail to perform well. When feedback is required, it can be a problem for them, like when dyslexic students are asked to perform in class.

Back in the day, people blamed their unique requirements and mistook them for laziness or stupidity. But as time went by, we know more about this condition, and such judgmental mistakes should be stopped.

Instead, we need to embrace their unique condition since most of them are highly intelligent. But how can we assume their special condition without making our presentation ‘too special’ to be understood by other people too?

Embracing dyslexia in our presentation slides

Here is the answer to that question. We actually can accommodate their needs without making other people feel left out. And in that case, you don’t need to do something huge like climbing Kilimanjaro or diving into the Mariana trench.

Here are simple tweaks that can make the dyslexic audience understand your messages far more quickly.

Text structure

The first piece of advice in accommodating dyslexia accessibility in PowerPoint presentation design, according to British Dyslexia Association, is to arrange the structure of your texts neatly and carefully. A neat text structure will help them recognize your messages more quickly and process them with ease.

The arrangement that you need to adopt is by putting headings and styles to texts in each slide. There is no specific measurement for this, but BDA suggested the size of headers may need to be 20% larger than standard text.

Changing the format into bold is preferable, so people with some level of dyslexia will find it easier to recognize. Further, if you need to put different levels of text, make sure to arrange its position and spacing so that even you find it so much easier to read.

In addition to that, avoid formatting that would make the texts harder to read. Arrangements like italic and using block capitals are harder to read for dyslexic people. Underlining a reader can also make texts more difficult to read.

Readable fonts

There is nothing that can make the texts more readable than simple fonts that are clear and evenly spaced. Some good examples of fonts are Arial, Verdana, Tahoma, Century Gothic, and Trebuchet. All of those fonts do not have cursive and are not condensed.

The most popular font, Times New Roman, is not a good option because it has small cursives. On the other hand, the most hated font Comic Sans is a good option because it can appear so simple for dyslexic people.

Talking about the size of the fonts, make sure to use them as large as possible. Larger fonts are generally easier to read, even for dyslexic people. Again, it would help if you were considerate about not getting your slides too cluttered with text.

Colors & backgrounds

Another way to accommodate dyslexia accessibility in PowerPoint presentation design is to be mindful of your choice of colors. Both your background color and the color of your text affect their ability to understand the written materials.

The first thing first is to make the colors of your presentation stable. Even if you need to use bright-colored texts, make sure to contrast them with dark colors. Do not even try to mix colors, contrast them awfully, and use colors with high contrast.

You should also never use an irrational combination of colors for the background of your slides. The most important thing for dyslexic people in the presentation is the readability of the text. And in that case, a striking white background is also a wrong choice.


Make sure the layout of your texts is neatly arranged. To check whether the layout is easy to read or not is to check it yourself. If you even find it a little bit difficult to read, dyslexic audience members would find it an ancient script.

One simple example is not aligning the texts with ‘justified’ alignment. Align left is much more preferable than ‘justified’ alignment. And in addition to that, arrange the spacing of the words into 1.5 points.

The length of the text in your layout should not be too long too. Around 60 to 70 characters are enough, as long as you don’t use multiple columns like in a newspaper.


Another method to assist dyslectic audience members is to choose the language that they master the most. Selecting a language that your audience master the most will help them easily arrange the floating texts into something readable.

Using active voice in our minds instead of passive voice is also recommended. While the thing that you need to prevent is using double negatives like the phrase “please, don’t like me.” Abbreviations are also not recommended.

Accessibility in PowerPoint presentation design is something that we should accommodate. The tips mentioned above can help you big time in accommodating dyslexic people. None of those methods are too hard to do.

Accessibility in PowerPoint presentation design: Dyslexia-friendly slides

As we mentioned above, around 1 in 10 people have dyslexia at some level. That’s why anytime you present a presentation in front of people, more than 10. There is a very high chance that one of them doesn’t get anything from your presentation.

 But you can change it now by accommodating their special requirements in your PowerPoint presentation. You need to apply those simple tweaks and communicate to your audience as well as possible.

And in case you still find it hard to do the tricks, you can contact us. We at RRGraph understand this problem very well and will help you design a high-class PowerPoint presentation design that can also accommodate the needs of dyslexic audience members.

We are not only for dyslexic people, but we can also accommodate other accessibility in PowerPoint presentation design. For example, we can also help you to design a unique PowerPoint presentation design for colorblind people. Anything you need, anytime you need us, you can contact us. 

Let’s visit RRSlide to download free PowerPoint templates. But wait, don’t go anywhere and stay here with our RRGraph Design Blog to keep up-to-date on the best pitch deck template collections and design advice from our PowerPoint experts.

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