Clear Language

Professor talks to student at UNH

One of the most overlooked aspects of accessibility is using clear language. There are always times when text needs to be more complicated, but when creating content, the creator should be thoughtful about how they use language.  

Tips for Keeping Language Clear 

  • Know your audience/readers – It is important to consider your readers. Much of the content on the UNH websites is intended for a general audience with a wide range of different readers. However, there might also be course specific content developed where a certain level of expertise is assumed. It is important to think about your audience and how they will engage with your content.  
  • Keep text clear and concise – Create text that is short and to the point. Avoid adding information that is irrelevant to the audience or your goals.  
  • Define essential vocabulary, jargon, and technical terms – All essential terms should be defined or have links to definitions. Additionally, all acronyms should be written out the first time they are used. This not only helps support students with disabilities, but it also helps people who are just starting to learn about your content.   
  • Consider including multiple representations – When possible, include multiple representations of content. This is particularly true when you are presenting difficult and complex content. For more complex content consider creating checklists, summaries, bullet points, and accessible images.  
  • Use a readability checker – There are some very helpful readability checkers that you can use to check the overall reading level of your content. Running a checker prior to publishing can help you better understand the complexity of your text.