Tips for Accessible Emails

As with other diversity issues, a little thought and planning can make a difference in how messages are received. Creating an accessible email will allow those who use screen readers (including Siri) and keyboard navigation to easily receive your message.

Here are the basics.

  • Use a logical reading order and concise language.
  • Don’t use images alone to convey crucial information such as date, time, and place. Not doing this also allows electronic calendar users to import events more easily.
  • Provide alternative text for images.
  • Use more than color to show emphasis or convey information — one in 12 men and one in 200 women experience color blindness or deficiency.
  • Use meaningful text for links; avoid constructions such as “click here” or “read more.” Try “Apply for fellowships,” “Read the spring newsletter,” etc.
  • Use sufficient color contrast (4.5:1). Try and avoid reversed type (dark background, light type). If you do use it, increase the point size sufficiently for low vision users, generally, 18 point and above.
  • Any attachments (Word documents, PDFs, etc.) also need to be accessible and should not be included in-line as images.