Google Slides Accessibility
This page gathers the IT Subcommittee's resources and reviews of the accessibility of Google Forms. This page will be updated as new information is available or further reviews are conducted.
Our testing focused on creating an accessible presentation, presenting with Google Slides, and reading and creating comments. In general, Google Slides is accessible; however, there were some small hiccups that appeared in our testing. It's an absolute must to use the Google keyboard shortcuts to create, navigate, and present with AT. If you try only using Tab, you will get stuck navigating just the slide text boxes. Tab, Alt+/, ESC, pgup, pgdown, ctrl+m are the most important for PC use; for Mac, using ⌘+Shift+Enter is very important.
Creating a Presentation
In general, you can use a screenreader and keyboard to create a accessible presentation in Google Slides. It's easy to add speaker notes, and
The one time the keyboard shortcuts didn't work was with the Template Gallery. To select a template, you need to use enter, not ctrl+opt+space.
There was an issue with inserting an image into a slide using the Web Search Option, as there's no audio feedback from what you type in the search box, nor do you get any alt text with the images as only the URL is read aloud. You will need to already have images that you want to use selected, or use some other means to add images to the slides. You will also need to use the arrow keys to nudge your image into place.
The options that are in the Toolbar are only accessible through tabbing, unless they are duplicated in the main menus. For example, to change the fill of an object, you need to either open the format menu and select Format Options and then tab until you can get the option for object fill, or you can open the menu, tab to access the Toolbar, and then use the right/left arrows until you can get to the Object Fill icon (paintbucket) in the Toolbar.
Presenting with Google Slides
There were some difficulties using a PC/NVDA with Google Slides. All text is referred to as a graphic (so the text "A giraffe can't live in space without a helmet" is read as "graphic A graphic giraffe graphic can't graphic live graphic in graphic space graphic without graphic a graphic helmet").
Editing and Commenting on Google Slides
In general, editing and commenting on Google Slides is somewhat accessible, but they are difficult to navigate and don't always function like you expect them to.
Even with the keyboard shortcuts, it's difficult to navigate around the comments. At times, you might think you've managed to navigate to the comment, but instead it dumped you into the slide. It was not smooth to create a comment, comment on a comment, and close a comment using a screen reader and keyboard.
- Accessibility Statement
- Keyboard Shortcuts for Slides
- Make your document or presentation more accessible by google
- Edit Presentations with a Screen Reader by google
- Braille display by google
- Collaborate and Comment with a screen reader by google
- DLF’s Creating Accessible Presentations (only mentions some issues with making accessible Google Slides)
- Google Workspace Accessibility - Slides from University Colorado Boulder
- Google Slides - Understanding Document Accessibility
- CSUN Google Slides Accessibility presentation [pdf]
- Google Slides from University of Minnesota