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Colleagues at Beacon Vision have shared some guidance with us on how to create accessible information for those with a visual impairment.

See below for some ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ or download a Word document here.

Accessible Information

Here are some tips for creating accessible documents:

  • Font – all body text should be Arial, at least 14pt, some people prefer 16pt, no italics or underlined sections. Bold text is preferred to create more contrast.
  • Contrast – text should be Black on white, Black on Yellow (nothing weak e.g. white on light blue).
  • Colours – shouldn’t be used apart from in hyperlinks (this is automatic). All font colours to be Automatic (black).
  • Keep information concise for ease of reading and understanding.
  • Tables – should have the heading row marked up.
  • Images – need to be functional, not decorative and have alternative text to explain the image.
  • Lists – all should be styled as List Bullet or List Number.
  • Extra spaces – extra “spacebar” spaces and “enter” spaces should be removed.
  • Assistive tech does not read PDF documents alternatives should be supplied (e.g. word document).
  • Formats – Information should be available in different formats (large print hard copies, electronic copies, audio etc).
  • Signage –  should be at Eye level contrasting to the wall colour.
  • Filing – look to use colour coding for filing systems.


What shouldn’t I do?

  • Use italics.
  • Underline text or headings.
  • Centre text, align text to right or justify text. All text should be left aligned for readability. If you’re putting things in the middle, people who use magnification software might miss it completely.
  • Format text using different colours.
  • Use blocks of capital letters as they are difficult for people to read.
  • Use lots of dots or dashes in a document, screen readers just read out the words ‘dot’ or ‘dash’ which can be frustrating.
  • Use colours in a document other than for hyperlinks (which are coloured automatically). Text should be automatic (black).
  • Use page numbers if appropriate, which should be left justified at the bottom of the page.
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