Email is a vital part of our daily communication and also needs to be accessible by all. When crafting an email, it can be easy to ignore some of the basic accessibility items because email providers don’t always prompt you to make items accessible.

The following is an example of a poorly crafted email, designed to promote an upcoming event:

Subject: Upcoming Event

Hello Readers,

Mark your 📅 !!!!! Join us for our event THIS FRIDAY!!

See the attached flyer for details or visit the event listing ( We hope to see you there!

Carleton Convocation poster: Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. Friday, October 6, 2023, 10:50 – 11:50 a.m., Skinner Memorial Chapel

Now, we’ve redesigned that email content to follow accessibility standards including descriptive links, clear subject heading, alt text provided on an image, etc.

Subject: Oct. 6 Convocation with Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Community Members,

Please join us for Convocation this Friday, October 6, 2023, from 10:50 – 11:50 a.m. in Skinner Memorial Chapel. This week’s convocation speaker features Xiuhtezcatl Martinez who will speak about how climate change is influencing the movement and migration of people in South and Latin America.

We hope to see you all there!

Carleton Convocation poster: Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. Friday, October 6, 2023, 10:50 – 11:50 a.m., Skinner Memorial Chapel

Tips for making your emails accessible

In general, when writing email content, you should follow the basic text writing & readability guidelines, in addition to the following suggestions:

  • Avoid all caps, italics, and underlining (hyperlinked text will automatically be underlined which is okay!) If you underline text that is not hyperlinked, it could give the illusion that it’s a link.
  • Make sure your subject line is clear and concise — while this makes for a user-friendly experience, it also makes it easier for recipients to find the email via search
  • Use a sans-serif font as they’re the most suited to electronic format (Arial, Calibri, Verdana, or Tahoma)
  • Use a font size of 12 points or higher
  • Ensure there is adequate color contrast between the text color and the background color
  • Make sure any images embedded in the body of the email have alternative text (this is done in Gmail by clicking the photo and selecting “Edit alt text;” for other email platforms you may need to right-click the image) This includes any imagery in your email signature
  • Make sure your links are descriptive
  • Don’t place QR codes in an email
  • Keep text left-aligned so it’s easier to read
  • Use emojis sparingly, and properly
  • Avoid embedding GIFs or animations. The automated movement can be distracting and could potentially be blocked by spam filters.
  • If adding an event poster to an email, critical event information like date, time, and location should be included in the body text of the email. Additionally, the image alt text should also include any text that is in the image itself.