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Accessibility @ Boston College

Creating Accessible Emails

Challenge

Members of the Boston College community often send emails to promote events, share information or advise as to a new process. In recent years emails containing images have become increasingly popular as a means of attracting attention to the message.

Recommendations for Accessible Emails

  1. Sending email messages containing large decorative images should be avoided as a general practice.  Images should be compressed prior to sending.
    • Why? Sending large images via email can cause issues with network traffic and email storage.
  2. The image should not contain embedded text. The relevant details should be included as text in the email.
    • Why? Screen readers cannot read text that is embedded in an image. 
  3. Any small images within the email should also contain ALT text describing the image.
  4. To optimize screen reader performance, avoid using images as links.
  5. If possible, HTML emails should be avoided
    • Some users may have "text only" email clients that cannot render HTML emails
    • The complexity of developing HTML emails requires usability testing

For any questions or assistance, please contact websupport@bc.edu.