E-mails - Guidelines for Accessible Messages
E-mail is widely used by everyone within the College community. The following are tips that ensure that e-mail messages are accessible to all students and staff.
When creating e-mails ensure you:
- use plain text formats instead of HTML: Most e-mail programs provide users with the option to send messages in one of two different formats, plain text or HTML. Text only is the most accessible and usable format for e-mail messages. While HTML e-mails can be made accessible for people with disabilities, this tends to be time-consuming.
- make subject lines clear: Avoid blank subject lines or subject lines that could be confused with spam e-mail.
- put the most important information first: The best way to make sure that recipients read the information you want is to put that information first. Putting new or important information at the end of an e-mail may cause recipients to discard the message, especially if they have read the information previously.
- keep messages short and to the point: Shorter messages are easier for most people, including people with learning disabilities, to read and understand.
- are careful when forwarding e-mail: When you forward an e-mail, the header of the previous e-mail, including a list of recipients, carries over into your message. A long list of recipients cannot easily be skipped by recipients using screen reading technology.
- avoid using decorative graphics. If graphics are necessary, make sure that they are labeled with alt text for recipients who are blind or have low vision, or who can only read text-only e-mails.
To change mail settings in Outlook:
- Open Outlook
- Select 'Tools' and then 'Options'
- Select the 'Mail Format' tab
- In the 'Compose in this message format’ select 'Plain Text'
- In the Stationery and Fonts section:
- Click on Fonts
- Select 12pt Arial or Verdana for all three boxes.