Is your content inclusive and accessible? Preparing for Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Tue 27 April 2021

Woman at her desk typing at her computer smiling. She is wearing corporate attire and a headset.

Thursday, 20 May marks Global Accessibility Awareness Day. With Australians spending over 40 percent of our time awake online [1], digital accessibility and inclusivity has become increasingly important.

Make your business digitally inclusive and accessible, with some best practice tips we’ve collated.

Tips for accessibility in the digital space

  • Keep written content short and concise.
  • Write using easy/plain English. Use commonly used words and use acronyms sparingly. Expand on acronyms on first use and wherever else is reasonable.  
  • Utilise appropriate headings and bullet point lists. This also assists with navigation for screen readers.
  • Include meaningful links – so users know exactly where they will be going. This means avoiding linking words like “read more,” as they are too ambiguous. Instead, link words that describe the page exactly. Concisely describe the links target. Learn more about meaningful links.
  • Include transcripts, audio descriptions and captions/closed captions for videos.
  • Provide a short description of each image. This adds context and assists people with low vision and screen readers.
  • Consider a sans serif font like Arial or Verdana, left-aligned and greater than 11pt.
  • Avoid excessive use of bold, italics, underlining and capitalising.
  • Provide alternative text with images. Alternative text (known as alt text) usually describes the purpose of the image. Alt text does not have to be a literal description of the image. Alt text assists people who have low vision or use a screen reader. Read more tips on using alternative text.

For a more in-depth look at web accessibility, read AND’s beginners guide to accessible web content or the Web Content  Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG).

Tips for social media channels

  • Images are great in social media, but remember; -
    • Use alt text.
    • If there is any text overlay, include it in the social media post too.
    • Utilise WCAG guidelines of 4:5:1 to ensure colour contrast on text overlay. Tools like Contrast Ratio can support you in meeting this requirement.  
    • Emojis and emoticons can disrupt the experience of a person using a screen reader so try to minimise their use.

For more tips on social media and accessibility, read AND’s post on how to write more accessible social media posts.

Accessibility and inclusivity online benefit everyone. Business’ that are accessible and inclusive online benefit from:

For further external resources to support you on accessible and inclusive digital content, members can access AND’s external resources page for communications and marketing.

 

Sources

[1] We are social & Hootsuite. (2021). Digital 2021 Australia https://wearesocial.com/au/digital-2021-australia

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