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Making Written Information Accessible: Guidelines for producing accessible printed and electronic information

General Guidelines

These guidelines for accessibility apply to written information

  • Use clear plain language.
  • Think of your intended audience and use terms they will understand. Explain the meaning of technical terms, unavoidable jargon, acronyms and abbreviations.
  • Use correct punctuation.
  • Use a clear plain font. Non-serif fonts like Arial are preferable.
  • Avoid using a small size of text (see Specific Guidelines).
  • Use left alignment for all text. Justified and centred alignment should be avoided.
  • Break text up using bullet points and space between paragraphs.
  • Avoid blocks of text in italics, underlining or uppercase.
  • Provide alternative text for non-text elements such as graphs and charts that are essential to understanding the text.
  • Provide alternative text for pictures that add to the meaning of the text or enter a “null value” to enable screen-reading software to ignore them.
  • Ensure good contrast between text and background.
  • Keep graphics and pictures separate from the text, i.e. do not put text over pictures.
  • Avoid animated or flashing/blinking text.
  • Provide a text transcript for embedded sound files.
  • Make the text for Hyperlinks specific and meaningful, for example “SAIF’s website” rather than “Click here”.
  • Provide Meta (extra) Information about your document.

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