Email Accessibility

The University of Arizona's official form of communication is email and we are obligated to ensure accessibility of email messages and attachments. As a significant vehicle for communicating important information, accessible emails are essential for the inclusion and participation of all students, employees, and members of the University community.

Accessible Email Basics

Listserv/Marketing Email Guidelines:

Email is an easy way to send information and is especially used to advertise events on campus through listservs. Listserv moderators should follow the below guidelines as well as refer email originators to this information:

  • Do not rely solely on images to communicate information 
    • A common example is a flyer/poster graphic embedded in an email and no text is included. It is best to include the event or detail information from that graphic in the body of the email as text, and attach any graphic. In your text, indicate that the attachment is only a visual. 
  • If images are necessary in the email body, make sure:
    • Text from the image is duplicated within the body of the email message itself
    • The image has alternative text 
  • Use HTML, (Hypertext markup language).
  • Select background and foreground colors to ensure good color contrast  and use color carefully
    • Avoid text over an image
    • Convey emphasis through use of a symbol or language, not only through color
  • Identify hyperlinks with descriptive text; do not use "click here"
  • If the email is long or includes lists, use built-in formatting styles to provide a logical reading order and break up content
  • Create an accessible signature 

Tips on clear, digestible emails

Usability and accessibility are closely associated. Just as you want to make sure everyone has access to the details of your message, you also want users to understand the intent of your email. Use the following tips to create clear, understandable messages: 

  • Use meaningful, descriptive, succinct subject lines
  • Put the main message or call to action near the top of the message (so it doesn’t get lost)
  • Don’t underline text (it will make content look like links)
    • If you want to emphasize text, use an *asterisk*
  • Keep paragraphs short (no more than 3 sentences) and aim for just one key message per email
  • Make it clear if you need or expect a response
  • If directing someone to a file (e.g. in Box), give them a direct link, not just directions to where the content lives
  • Keep signature lines focused

Additional Resources

Disability Resources (DRC) is YOUR resource for ensuring accessible content!

For Support or Consultation: