This section presents general recommendations to ensure the accessibility of your content regardless of the medium used (email, PPT, PDF, Word, etc.).
Check colours #
- Make sure color is not the only means used to convey information.
- Ensure a level of sufficient contrast between the color of the text and that of the background. This is valid for your texts but also for icons, buttons and other graphic elements. Contrast can be checked using the tool Color Contrast Analyser for example:
- 4.5:1 for normal size text.
- 3:1 for large text and interface components or graphical elements that convey information.
Make reading easier #
- Align texts to the left (avoid justifying).
- Put a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence but avoid whole sentences in capital letters.
- Avoid italics.
- Use simple, sans serif fonts: Arial, Calibri or accessible font Dfa, having a size of at least 10 points.
- Set up simple punctuation.
- Avoid textured backgrounds (images).
- Do not make repeated carriage returns or tabulation to space (but the “Paragraph & Spacing” or “Indent” function in Word, for example).
- Avoid layout tables or complex data tables (except in HTML if the table structure is accessible).
- Avoid “image” content that conveys information: graphs, diagrams, diagrams (except in HTML if a textual alternative is available).
- Use clear turns of phrase, short sentences and simple construction. One idea per sentence.
- Avoid words that are too complicated or specific to a domain as much as possible, and if not, explain them.
- Use proper typographic characters: dash -, em-dash —, “rounded quotes”.
- Avoid foreign words, abbreviations except those that are genuinely used.
- Signal the end of the document (for instance, an image saying “End of email”, or a white-on-white text “End of document”).
Layout with tables #
Knowing that email clients (Outlook included) still sometimes require to use a table layout: add a
role="presentation" to your table tags so that text-to-speeches understand it's just formatting.
Accessible data tables #
In order for your data tables to be accessible, simplify them as much as possible from their design:
- Avoid nested tables one inside the other (maximum 2 levels of nesting).
- Avoid merging cells, using too many empty cells, adding background images.
- Ensure sequential reading (we must be able to read from left to right and top to bottom).
And for the implementation in a web page for example, see our dedicated article.