Why are certain colour combinations better than others for people with dyslexia and colour blindness? How does someone with a visual impairment read a document? How can you help people with visual impairments understand images on electronic documents? What font styles and sizes are best for legibility? How can you check if your document is accessible before you print or send it? In general what questions do we need to ask ourselves before designing a document with accessibility in mind?
I hadn’t realised that there was so much to think about when I was writing documents’ said Elaine after taking part in Accessible Documents training with Disability Information Scotland.
Having ran 2 businesses, each involving daily customer contact, Elaine McDonald had distributed her share of documents. From adverts to contracts to invoices she had designed and written them all herself and while she had a general awareness of conditions such as Dyslexia and sight loss she had very little awareness of the multitude of ways people with these and other conditions could be negatively impacted by documents which had not been designed to be accessible. Like a lot of people Elaine thought that people with disabilities had strategies or assistive aids to help them access documents but did not realise how much she could do herself to make her documents more accessible.
It was not until a friend who provided training in digital accessibility had mentioned to Elaine how easy it was to make your documents accessible and how helpful it could be to people with disabilities that Elaine considered she should look at her own practice.
After being given face-to-face training with Disability Information Scotlands Accessible Information Officer Elaine was able to gain a comprehensive understanding of both the need for her documents to accessible and the strategies to make them so.
The course covers text and paragraph formatting, creating an accessible template to use in your word processor, how to format your document for use with a screen reader, how to use accessible tables in your document, how to include images in your documents so that they can be understood by someone with a visual impairment and how to make accessible forms and how to check your document for accessibility after you have written it.
‘There are techniques which are fairly obvious like what size to make your text and what font styles to use but there are also things that you wouldn’t know unless someone taught you it like how to format your document so a screen reader can navigate through it or why you shouldn’t use justified text’ said Elaine after the course.
Making your documents as accessible as possible for everyone is as important as making sure your spelling is correct and almost as easy to do. If you would like to find out more about our training in accessible documents and many other areas of information accessibility then call James on 07446 289741 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org