Email is used every day, but accessibility is not often considered. Email should be approached in the same way that one would when creating a document or webpage. Many of the same principles apply.  For example, it is equally important to add alt-text to images and ensure appropriate headings are created within an email. As you would with any other area related to accessibility, it is important to dive deeper into each particular platform you might use. This includes Outlook, but external platforms for digital communication should be considered carefully as well. 

Opportunities and Challenges

Accessibility opportunities 

  • Microsoft Outlook’s emails have many of the same features as a Word document 
  • Can implement the accessibility basics  
  • Easy to include accessible attachments 
  • Can be more conversational so easier to use simple language  

Accessibility challenges  

  • Need to ensure all attachments are accessible as well  
  • Accessibility can be challenging if people can only receive or send plain text emails  

Learn More about Accessible Email 

Email Suggestions

  • Implement the accessibility essentials  
    • Accessible headings  
    • Alternative text   
    • Color contrast  
    • Descriptive links  
    • Accessible tables and charts 
    • Captions and transcripts   
    • Clear language 
  • Ensure all attachments and embedded content are accessible 
  • Create subject lines that are relevant to the email content  
  • Avoid animations and videos that cannot be paused  
  • Avoid emails that are just an image  
  • Always check signature lines for accessibility 
  • Do not rely on emojis to convey meaning  
  • Ensure emails can be viewed on mobile devices 
  • If using an external service for mail campaigns, check for accessibility possibilities prior to hiring the company or purchasing the services