Accessibility Tip of the Week

Not just off the press.

  • Summary: If you provide printed materials, consider providing alternative versions.
  • Who it helps: People with visual disabilities.
  • Additional benefits: It shows your audience you will take the extra steps to provide your services to all.

Print materials like menus, pamphlets, bulletins, and posters are everywhere. However, for visually-impaired individuals, these can present obstacles. To ensure accessibility for all, consider offering your materials in braille or large print. Providing your materials online is another viable option, as most digital documents can be magnified or read using assistive technologies.

There are significant benefits to taking the time to provide these alternatives ahead of time. It demonstrates that you cater to your audience’s diverse needs, making them feel valued and included. It also frees you and your staff to create a better experience for everyone, knowing you have the resources available to help.

When providing online documents, one common option is to use PDFs. A PDF, which stands for Portable Document Format, can be helpful for managing layout or locking content. Unfortunately, making a PDF accessible can be very challenging. When creating digital content, we recommend providing it as native web content (HTML) or as a Microsoft Word, Google, or another text document instead of as a PDF.

What can I do?

As you develop your print materials, think about the following:

  • Plan to provide a few copies of menus, pamphlets, maps and other important printed materials in both braille and in large print. Online companies like Braille Works and NBP will help you print this content in braille.
  • Offer the same content online and provide a QR code to link to it. It helps if the QR code has a tactile indicator like Braille QR or a raised outline or corner to let your audience be able to find it. Braille House sells a tactile indicator for QR codes.

This work is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0    .

If you are promoting accessibility within your organization or community, sending out easy-to-understand tips can be a helpful addition to your strategy. You are welcome to share the tips here under the mentioned Creative Commons license, as long as you cite Accessible Community as your source.