Whether it's a Word document or a presentation, there's a number of considerations when developing your document.
- Use crisp fonts such as Verdana or Arial (these are examples of "sans serif" fonts)
- Avoid scripts, decorative fonts, and shadows
- Minimum of 12-point font is recommended
- Use italics to highlight individual words not blocks of text
- Avoid all capital letters. They can be difficult to read in continuous text, but are okay for titles or acronyms (MDOL, USA etc.)
- Use "Styles" feature in Word which styles the text. This allows certain screen readers to navigate or scan a document. (See Accessibility Guide Word Documents for more information)
- More on the use of fonts from Penn State Accessibility
Color & Contrast
- The greater the contrast between the words and the background the better
- Background images should be avoided
- Colored paper should be avoided. If necessary, use yellow or other light colors
- Do not use only color to provide emphasis. use bold or italics or both instead of or in addition to color.
Images, Tables or Charts
- Charts and graphs should supplement and support written content. Explain fully, in text, all information that is contained in a graphic.
- Images and graphs must have alternative text. See Accessibility Guide Images and Graphs page for more information on alt text.
- Tables should be used for data and be properly structured with a header row
Links and Hypertext
- Links and hypertext should be concise, clear and descriptive
- Links should not be the entire url (https://www.maine.gov/portal/policies/accessibility.html) but be descriptive of the link. For example, Maine Accessibility Home page
- Do not use "Click Here." Instead describe the location of the link, e.g. "Accessibility Guide Documents page"
- If you're intending a document to be printed and used electronically, combine the two techniques by having descriptive link and the full URL. This will allow the screen reader user to hear where the link goes and can skip off before listening to the full URL. For example