Weekly tips to improve accessibility. Thank you for joining us on this journey.
Tip of the Week: Writing Accessible Content Part 3
This is the last newsletter on accessible content. We will start discussing accessible forms next week. We've included two more writing strategies that improve 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.
Everyone quickly understands your content and if it is relevant. Translation to different languages is easier.
Strategy 5: Avoid Double Negatives
Write positive statements when possible.
Do not combine two or more negative words to create a positive statement.
Review your work.
Look for negative statements that include words such as not, can't, don't, and words starting with "un".
If you find statements like these, consider whether they can be simplified and written from a positive instead of negative point of view.
Use this: Write clearly
Not this: Do not write unclearly.
Use this: The director must make the deadline.
Not this: The director can't not make the deadline
Use this: She had to go to the meeting.
Not this: She was unable to avoid the meeting.
Strategy 6: Use a Spelling and Grammar Checker
MS Word, Google Docs, and other word editing software includes spell checking and basic grammar checking tools. WordPress and other website creation tools also include plugins that will check your spelling. Run everything you write through an automated spell checker, even if you cut and paste the content into a different program.
If you are creating a lot of content, consider Grammarly or another grammar checker. These tools will help you create more readable content that can reach a larger audience.
This email text has several accessibility issues:
The small font size and low contrast (2.2:1) color makes it difficult for people with vision impairments to read.
Can you tell there are 3 links? The links are only indicated using darker gray text. None of the links are underlined. Underlining links makes the links easier for people with vision impairments, color blindness, and cognitive disabilities to use.
The text of the unsubscribe link is labeled "here." A screenreader user browsing links would find 3 links in this text: here, the company website, and the email link for assistance. The last two are clear without additional context but it would be difficult to figure out what a link labeled "here" would do if clicked.
Compare the content above to the unsubscribe text at the bottom of this email.