How do I make an online tutorial in PowerPoint accessible?

Happy Monday! ITS Academic Technologies recently received an email from a student in search of help with PowerPoint:

“HELP! I am tasked with creating an online tutorial to help train individuals. I created a PowerPoint presentation, but was told this is not the preferred method, as it is not fully accessible. What should I do now?”

Wondering why web accessibility is important? “When ignoring web accessibility you’re potentially alienating one billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, who experience some form of disability, whether auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical or visual.” (source)

Here’s the advice we shared:

“There are a couple of things you can do. It’s good practice to provide more than one format.

  1. Keep the PowerPoint format because it’s more engaging and memorable for the majority of people, but you can take steps to make it accessible with Microsoft built-in tools.
  2.  Save the PowerPoint as a PDF.  Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat and  follow the steps listed at JAN’s “Converting a PowerPoint file to PDF” to ensure it’s accessible
  3. You can also save the PowerPoint as a rich text file, open it in Word, format it, and save it as a .docx file.
  4. For the ultimate in accessibility, you could narrate the PowerPoint and save it as an MP4 file. This would provide an additional avenue for people with limited vision to interact with the content.”

iPad Pro and Apple Pencil Available for Checkout!

Have you wanted to use an iPad Pro or try the Apple pencil?

The ITS Help Desk located at the Information Desk on the main floor in Leyburn Library has them to check out to faculty and staff.

iPad Pro data details

Selected features:

  • iSight Camera – 12-megapixel iSight camera
  • Video Recording
  • Speakers – 4 speaker audio w/ high-fidelity speaker in each corner
  • Microphones – Dual microphones
  • Battery – Up to 10 hours

Apple pencil details

Selected features:

  • Highly responsive. Virtually no lag time. Draw lines of any weight.
  • IPad Pro is designed with palm rejection technology, making it possible to rest your hand on the iPad screen while you use Apple Pencil.
  • 12 hours of battery life. Slip off the magnetic cap of Apple Pencil to reveal a Lighting connector that lets you charge Apple Pencil simply by plugging it into iPadPro.
  • Use Notes to jot down ideas or sketch a diagram during a lecture.
  • Use your Pencil to mark up a PDF or document in your own handwriting.
  • Use Pixelmator on your iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil and 16K image support, Pixelmator is the ideal photo editing tool for imaging professionals. It offers advanced features like layer-based painting, cloning, and blending modes while working with the powerful multitasking abilities of iOS.

How do I reserve it?

  • Send an email to requesting to pick one up, and include the start/end dates.
    • Stop by the Information Desk in Leyburn Library to check one out.
    • Call us at 540-458-4357





Digital Storytelling Workshop during Fall Academy 2017

Academic Technologies will be teaming up with facilitators from StoryCenter ( to offer a 3-day workshop on Digital Storytelling, Wednesday, August 23 – Friday, August 25. If you’d like to attend, please apply at

If you’re interested in incorporating Digital Storytelling into a course, but you’re wondering exactly what it is or how to go about it, this is the perfect workshop for you. It will take place on campus during Fall Academy. Breakfasts and lunches are catered–all you need to do is focus on creating a digital story.

Questions? Please contact Julie Knudson ( or Brandon Bucy ( in Academic Technologies to find out more.

Multi-region DVDs

Is there a multi-region DVD you want to preview?

Do you have a Blu-ray disc to watch?

The ITS Help Desk located at the Information Desk on the main floor in Leyburn Library has a device to check out to you.

Request the Sony multi-zone, region-free, Blu-ray player with the accompanying accessory bag, which contains the HDMI cable/power adapter/remote.

Product details:

• Provides access to over 300 streaming services which can allow you to play movies, TV shows, music, and more with a valid subscription and broadband connection
• NTSC to PAL DVD AND BD Conversion Works on all TVs with HDMI connection
• BD: A/B/C – DVD: 012345678 PAL/NTSC
• 100-240V Dual Voltage
• Dimensions 13 X 11 X 11 in
• Weight 2 lbs

How do I reserve it?

• Send an email to requesting to pick one up, and include the start/end dates
• Stop by the Information Desk in Leyburn Library to check one out.
• Call us at X 4357

Winter Academy 2016

Academy Workshop on Digital Storytelling Fall 2015
Academy Workshop on Digital Storytelling Fall 2015

Winter Academy 2016 begins on Monday, December 12 and runs through Friday, December 16.

Sessions include a workshop on Virtual Reality in the IQ Center; a discussion of the Honor System led by members of the student Executive Committee; a panel session of the Mellon Summer Digital Humanities Research Grant awardees; technology sessions on Excel, Box, Adobe PhotoShop and Illustrator and much, much more.

The schedule and registration for Winter Academy are available at: We look forward to seeing you there!