Information Technology - Training and Support

Accessibility Strategies

Advance Inclusion – Think Accessibility

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Accessibility is everyone’s responsibility. Understanding how to create communications and resources that are accessible from the start is an important part of promoting equity and inclusion. UW Bothell IT is spotlighting five strategies and sharing useful tips for how to be more accessible and inclusive in how we create digital content. 

Strategy #1: Creating Accessible Announcements

Everyone loves a good picture, but using images alone to communicate information can prevent those with cognitive disabilities or visual impairments from connecting with your content. When sending emails or announcements, adopt a “text-first” approach. 

  • Make text the primary way you convey information. Use images to reinforce text and provide visual appeal and always include a concise alt text description, even in Outlook messages
  • Avoid using images of text as much as possible. If sharing an infographic or poster, provide a separate accessible text version of the document as part of the announcement. 
  • Another great option is to link to a webpage with the full message (text and images).

Strategy #2: Ramp up Access to Your Content

Ramps can make it easier to access physical spaces, particularly if we’re pushing a grocery cart or using a wheelchair. You can also build accessible “on ramps” into your digital content to help readers access the information they need, regardless of their level of ability.

Strategy #3: Color, Contrast, and Font, Oh my!

Color, contrast, and font can help make information pop and grab readers’ attention. Thinking carefully about how we use these elements can ensure that our messages are accessible by those with visual or cognitive impairments and can make information more legible for all readers. 

  • Pair color with some other form of emphasis. In addition to color, emphasize the text with italics or bolding, or set it apart with symbols like asterisks (*). Avoid using underlining so that your text isn’t mistaken for a link.
  • Help your colors work together by using sufficient contrast to distinguish text from the background. A contrast checker can help you evaluate if the contrast is at the right level.
  • Use sans serif fonts like Helvetica, Arial, Calibri, Verdana, or Geneva to make your text more accessible, especially to dyslexic readers. 

Thanks for doing your part to create accessible digital resources that provide access to all. If you have more questions about how to create accessible digital content, please email UW Bothell IT.