Welcome to our four part guide on accessibility for digital learning. In this first blog we will explore four key points you need to consider when writing content to make your elearning accessible for everyone, including those with learning, visual, physical and auditory difficulties.
1. Bullet points
Bullet points are commonly used to introduce a list of points or itemise items in numerical or alphabetical order.
They can also be used to draw attention to important information, making it easy for the reader to pick out key points when scanning content. It is important that bullet point content is written in a way that a screen reader can read successfully.
Therefore, make sure to keep the following in mind:
Always capitalise the first letter, with the exception of lists using a semicolon.
Make sure to use punctuation, such as a full stop at the end of each bullet point, to indicate to a screen reader there is a pause before reading the next point. If you do not do this, the screen reader will read the bullet points as one continuous sentence.
Although it can be fun to play around with different font types to jazz up text, this can cause issues for accessibility.
People with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, can find it difficult to read text where letters are too close together, for example. This is also the case for capitalised words, e.g. “THIS IS THE TITLE”.
For easy reading, Sans Serif fonts are recommended, such as Arial and Comic Sans. These fonts appear less crowded, meaning it is easier to identify the individual letters being used.
The use of italics is not recommended for accessibility purposes as italic words become slanted, and the letters appear to have jagged lines making it more difficult to make out the words clearly for some users.
Instead, try using a bold type to highlight words of importance. This is easier to read and can also draw clearer attention to the content.
Usually to visually indicate a quote, we might use quotation marks, and the source name is placed underneath. However, in this format, a screen reader will read the quote out as if it was just another sentence, making it unclear to users this content is a quote.
It is therefore important to explicitly state that forthcoming content is a quote from a certain source, before the quote itself is presented.
In part two, we’ll look closer at how to write link text for effective digital learning.