Written in collaboration with Alex from Fifth Creative, a creative design studio

We all want to be as inclusive as possible, right? So you need to make sure the content you’re putting out is accessible.

Factors to consider when asking yourself is my content accessible?

  • Can my audience read my content clearly?
  • Can my audience see my content clearly?

Let’s break our content down to its two elements; design and word content

Design

Let’s check in with Alex from Fith Creative. Alex says, “Your choice of typeface is a huge consideration with accessibility, for the main body of your text, I’d recommend avoiding a typeface that’s too ornate.

“It’s also important to play close attention to the weight of the typefaces” and by weight, we mean the thickness, “too thin and it can almost disappear on a page and making it difficult to read for a person who is blind or has a visual impairment.”

When you’re planning your website, pictures can prove to be a bit of a barrier for people who are blind, especially if they’re using a screen reader. Alex says “add Alt text to your images when you’re uploading them to your website. The screen reader will use these words to describe the image to the person browsing.”

“Finally, the colour palette you use will have a big impact on legibility. Essentially, the greater the colour contrast between your words and the background, the better. In my experience, green and red or red and blue can be difficult to differentiate. There’s a reason why yellow and black is used on safety or danger signs – they’re clear and easy to read.”

Now let’s cover your content.

I like to think of this as a general rule for your content not necessarily just for accessibility – write concisely. Make sure you’re using language that makes sense. Avoid jargon and using too many acronyms.

What channels are you using to deliver your messages? If physical newsletters or printed content is key for your audience – consider if you should provide large print or braille copies or even audio versions. If English isn’t the first language for your audience, should you provide translated versions?

Remember to caption your Instagram Stories – this will make your Stories more accessible to people who are hard of hearing.

Avoid using any directional language on your website. For example, “click the link to the right for more information.” Instead, consider saying something like, “click on this link (provide link) for more information.”

There are many resources available giving guidance on making sure your content is accessible – here are some that might help.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/inclusive-communication

https://www.rnib.org.uk/professionals-social-care-professionals/communication-and-environment

This is by no means an exhaustive list of considerations, but if you can keep accessibility in the back of your mind at all times when creating, not only is it the right thing to do but you’re giving your content the best chance at reaching as many people as possible.