Accessible text has a great contribution in achieving inclusive learning environments. The accessibility of textual content can be enhanced by emphasising the use of appropriate language, clarity, and coherence. In this way, not only can the content be understood by a wider audience, but the quality of the educational material increases dramatically.
- Use clear and simple language
- Avoid jargon and technical terms.
- Always explain uncommon terms or formulations beforehand.
- Use headings and structure
Use headings and other structuring labels to organise the content, making it easier for users to understand the hierarchy of information..
- Colour contrast
- Use sufficient colours contrast between text and background to ensure that the text is easy to read for users with low vision.
- Avoid using very high contrast because it can make reading difficult for some people.
- A good colour combination is black text over off-white background.
Use a font size that is easily perceivable, and ensure that users can set the font size to meet their needs.
- Prefer fonts that are easy to read like sans-serif font types.
- Avoid using too many different fonts since it make difficult to read and focus on the information
- Use semantic mark-up
If the digital format allows semantic markup, such as office documents, web and PDF; to indicate the purpose of content and to make it suitable for ATs.
For example labelling:
- Headers ("h1", "h2", ... in HTML)
- Lists ("ul" and "ol" in HTML)
- Link text
Use descriptive text for links, so that users can understand the destination or action of the link without having to interact with it.
- Avoid using colour as the only means of conveying important information
- Use, in addition to colour, other ways of providing the information, such as writing explicitly the information or using symbols that can be understood and perceived.
- People with colour colour blindness and by screen reader users are greatly impacted by this issue.
- Avoid the use of tables for layout
- Use columns or sections.
- Avoiding using tables to arrange the content.
- Arrange the text using the tools for this purpose. Eg. make use of CSS if you are creating a webpage.
- Test with assistive technologies
- Use ATs, such as screen readers and a keyboard to ensure that it is fully accessible to users with disabilities.
- Use automatic accessibility checkers, if available but, do not fully rely on them.