Weekly tips to improve accessibility. Thank you for joining us on this journey.
Tip of the Week: Writing Accessible Content Part 1
While the tips you receive over the next few weeks sound like English writing tips, they are important accessibility tips as well. Each strategy improves the ability of individuals with cognitive disabilities and who listen to text to understand and engage with your content. With practice, you will naturally incorporate these strategies into your writing style. They will not add time to content creation but will increase your organization's reach and impact.
Disclaimer: This is an ongoing process. We are still working on incorporating these strategies as well.
Time: Varies by content length and decreases with practice
Who Benefits: Individuals with cognitive disabilities, screen reader users, text-to-speech users.
Understands your content faster
Makes fewer errors
Strategy 1: Use Shorter Sentences
Instructions: Break sentences apart when possible. They should be short. Each sentence should contain one idea. Look for conjunctions such as: and, or, but, for, so, etc. When you find them, consider whether you can break the sentence apart to make the content easier to read.
Strategy 2: Use an Active Sentence Structure
Instructions: When describing something or telling a story, structure your sentence so it begins with a noun followed by a verb. The verb should be an action the noun is taking. For example:
Use: "The director told his employees about their raise at the holiday party."
Avoid: "The employees were told about their raise at the holiday party by the director."
Use: "Our stocks increased over the last month."
Avoid: "Over the last month, we saw our stocks increasing."
When giving instructions, use imperative voice without qualifications or a stated noun unless the directions involve someone other than the reader:
Use: "Add a summary to all documents."
Avoid: "I recommend adding a summary to all documents."
Avoid: "You should add a summary to all documents.
Placing a display of scented candles and air fresheners next to baked goods forces someone with chemical sensitivity to ask for help or shop elsewhere. Place all scented items in a single location away from entrances, checkout counters, bathrooms, and other products to ensure people who are sensitive or allergic to chemicals (16-33% of the population) can successfully shop at your store.