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How to ensure your documents are accessible

Information provision is a business’ most powerful tool. It is a means to communicate with employees, customers and others to convey a message or important information so, where this information is provided, it should be provided in an accessible format in order to communicate with as many people as possible. There are numerous ways in which people access information, whether it be written, digital, or oral. By ensuring you are considering accessibility and universal design in all materials you publish, you are ultimately providing the end user with easy and understandable ways of accessing and interacting with the important information you are providing.

It is important to first understand how end users will access and interact with the information in order to provide the appropriate resources for the information you are providing. For instance; is the information provided online allowing the use of screen readers? Is printed documentation readily available in large print format, etc.

Once you have understood how the information is ascertained, it is important to be aware of the impact stylistic choices can have on accessibility when creating documents, signs, posters, etc. For instance; the size and type of font, colours and visual contrast, and formatting choices all have an impact on how easily a person can absorb the information provided. Outlined below are a number of general considerations which should be made to ensure you are providing accessible and inclusive documents:

The above list offers a general outline of what should be considered in order to provide accessible documents and should be used as a starting point for the development of a style guide for producing accessible information. Additionally, accessibility and universal design should be embedded in your communications strategy as a way of defining your commitment to a more inclusive, accessible and disability friendly workplace.

If you need further information or advice in relation to accessible information provision please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on (01) 415 12 85 or e-mail [email protected].