Add how-to's on your PowerPoint support pages for math and animation accessibility
At work we're picking up bits and pieces all over the web about the best way to make PowerPoints accessible-- specifically for math, tables and animations. We're currently getting some info from MathType/Design Science but this could be on the support pages. We're finding that
- MathML is good BUT
- there's an option to add alt text, some users are requesting it, others are saying it shouldn't be added to the Math OLE (turns out it seems to depend on screen reader)
- Animations where a user action adds more bits of math to a single slide-- can't consistently get to those with screen readers, even if we run SlideShow with animations turned off
- end-users don't seem to be able to find how to get table information except via table alt text. From what we've seen in the examples on the Support pages, the texts for tables should be caption/summary types of text, which isn't the full information of the table. This may depend on screen reader?
As makers of PowerPoint decks for schools and businesses, companies want to know how to best deal with these issues. The current pages at support are great for getting started, but leave out information about some specifics like Math OLE objects, or which versions of PowerPoint started having MathType built in (so we could tell customers if they have a version older than x they should actively look for the plugin, for example), or things content creators should watch out for regarding accessibility when making animations (vestibular disorder, screen reader users), etc.
I actually still haven't seen anywhere whether it's possible to overlay two text placeholders, but maybe I haven't seen it because it's simply not possible-- I'm surprised I haven't seen it mentioned either way anywhere.
This is a very good idea, and thank you so much for breaking down the details of what you’re looking for in reference to this issue. That helps us a great deal in investigating how we can make that feature more accessible.
We’ll do some more research to see how these solutions can be implemented and will get back to you with follow-up details as they become available.
Again, thank you for reaching out to us; and if in the future we can be of further assistance, please let us know.
The Microsoft Disability Answer Desk team.
Which forum is the best place to post findings? Is that here or... ? We've figured out (for now) what we'll recommend regarding math. One of the findings is a bit of work for PowerPoint creators but worth it.
Thank you for informing us of this new development. Yes, we definately encourage users to post their findings and solutions on the forum as that would help other users with the same or simular problems. Also this adds data to how we can improve future releases of our products as well.
Thank you again for reaching out to us with your issue and letting us know what solution or solutions you found.
The Microsoft Disability Answer desk team.
We've done some research and have some discoveries... we can pass these on to whomever at the MS team, even though our research also still has some gaps.