Section 508 Compliance for Microsoft PowerPoints


In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to individuals with disabilities. The law (29 U.S.C. § 794 (d)) applies to all Federal agencies when they develop, procure, maintain, or use electronic and information technology.

Under Section 508, agencies must provide disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to access available to others. The United States Access Board discusses the Section 508 law and its responsibility for developing accessibility standards for EIT to incorporate into regulations that govern Federal procurement practices in more depth.


The GSA Section 508.gov website provides guidance, tools, and resources for Section 508 procurements with the ultimate goal of ensuring equal participation for people with disabilities by improving Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility. This website aggregates all relevant federal guidance, checklists, and testing information for creating and maintaining accessible documents in various popular electronic formats, including Word, PDF, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Resources to Create and Maintain Accessible Microsoft PowerPoints

Use the following resources aggregated by Section508.gov to make your Microsoft (MS) PowerPoints accessible and 508 compliant.

Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

Older Versions of Microsoft PowerPoint

Find additional, related resources at the Section508.gov website.


  1. Use the checklists and testing documents to assess your current PowerPoint presentations. Are your PowerPoints accessible? How can they be improved?
  2. How can you incorporate what you’ve learned into your next PowerPoint presentation? Will you do anything differently?

Write a Review

  1. Will this page be updated soon? I’m using MS Powerpoint 2016, and that is not covered on this page. And, we’ll all likely be using Office 365 soon. Thanks!


  2. This page hasn’t been updated since December 2019 and doesn’t include Microsoft O365 resources. I am working on creating a PowerPoint presentation for a virtual workshop. Before distributing to participants, I must make sure that it is Section 508 compliant and meets accessibility requirements.

    I am having trouble with a border/decorative element that I added to one slide. According to the online help info provided by Microsoft O365, I should be able to make this a decorative element that is not read. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the current version has the box that allows us to uncheck that feature. See Remove Objects from the Reading Order (https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/office/make-slides-easier-to-read-by-using-the-reading-order-pane-863b5c1c-4f19-45ec-96e6-93a6457f5e1c?ui=en-us&rs=en-gb&ad=gb)

    Who do I need to contact to get more info or insight about this issue? I really don’t want a presentation that is simply black text on white page.

Arrow pointing upwards. Click this icon to go back to the top of the page.