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Top 10 accessibility tips

When creating documents, or updating them to a new version, accessibility should be kept in mind.

To mark the 13th Global Accessibility Awareness Day, the Web and Digital Experience Team have created 10 key take-aways to guide you don’t forget what’s important!

  1. When opening a document, set the document title and save.
  2. Set up a heading structure using in built styles. Make sure these follow in sequential order (for example H1, H2, H3).
  3. Select colours using helpful tools. Use tools like ColorZilla which is a helpful browser extension to select colours, and WebAIM which advises if they pass. To meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 standard your contrast ratio must be at least 7:1.
  4. When putting in a link, remember to make this descriptive. Users need to know what they are clicking on. For example, use North Ayrshire Council website instead of the full URL: or ‘click here’ and ‘read more’ links.
  5. When modifying your in built styles for text, ensure you are setting the correct line and paragraph spacing recommended. This saves time having to fix later or including unnecessary blank spaces.
  6. Think about the images you are using and what they communicate to the user. Is the information explained in the text surrounding? Mark as decorative. Is the image conveying extra information? Add relevant alternative text.
  7. When it comes to text size, 12 point should be the standard minimum text size used to allow users to read content, with or without assistive technology.
  8. Though italics should not be used in any circumstances, use bold sparingly to not lose meaning. Underline should be reserved for hyperlinks.
  9. Microsoft Office applications have inbuilt list styling, this ensures accessibility in a more efficient way.
  10. Remember not everyone will understand terminology the way we do! Write out abbreviated terms in full. For larger documents, continue to write in full. For smaller documents, write in full when introducing the term.
Person with prosthetic arm typing on laptop

For more in depth guidance and demonstrations, please visit our Digital Accessibility section on Connects. This is useful to have open when working on documents.

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