Accessible email

Writing accessible emails

When we communicate via email in this age of information overload, we need to make sure our message is not only effective but also accessible. This content provides some best practices for writing accessible email. For more detailed information, go to the Accessible eMail presentation from the 2018 Global Accessibility Awareness Week.

Avoid Image-only Email

A commonly-used strategy when creating email to advertise events is to simply send an image of the poster for the event. This has two major drawbacks:

  • The text will not be accessible to readers who have visual impairments
  • Readers may be blocking images from their email (a default for Outlook)

To fix this problem:

  • Provide a text-based equivalent to the information contained in the poster image – Begin your email with all of the relevant information typed in, then add your image with alt text included.
  • Provide a link to an alternate, accessible version of the email that is hosted on a website. From a marketing perspective, this is a less desirable solution, since it requires readers to load an additional page.

Use the built-in formatting tools

  • Use HTML format for emails
  • Add Alt Text to images
  • Use bulleted or numbered Lists
  • Use descriptive hyperlinks
  • Use good color contrast
  • Avoid using tables to organize content

Have questions? Contact

Ana Thompson CPACC
Academic & Access Technologist
UWB IT Academic & Collaborative Technologies (ACT) or 425-352-3794