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Email Accessibility

Ensuring the accessibility of your email is essential for providing equal access to information, regardless of the access method used. Follow these best practices to make your email accessible. 

Best Practices:

  • Write Descriptive Alternative Text for Images: Describe the purpose, intent, and other important details of the image for users who are unable to view the image.
  • Avoid Image-Only Flyers: Do not attach image-only flyers to your email, as they are inaccessible to assistive technologies. Instead, provide an accessible PDF or Word file.
  • Offer Plain-Text Descriptions for Attachments and Embedded Content: Provide a plain-text description or summary for embedded images and attachments to offer additional context for users. This is helpful for people who use assistive technology and those who cannot load images (e.g., users with low phone data).
  • Write Descriptive Hyperlinks: A hyperlink title should describe the link, its purpose, or where it leads. Ideally, use the webpage's or document's title as the hyperlink title.
  • Provide Structure with Headings: Use headings to provide structure and improve readability for messages longer than a few paragraphs.
  • Use Proper Lists: Use proper bulleted or numbered lists when presenting lists of information.
  • Ensure Readability of Fonts: Avoid handwritten-style fonts, small font sizes, and ensure sufficient contrast between text and background colors to maintain readability.
  • Make Your Email Mobile-Friendly: Design emails that can be navigated and read easily on mobile devices.
  • Provide Accessible Attachments: Ensure all email attachments are accessible and follow document accessibility guidelines.
  • Use Accessible Email Templates: Ensure the email templates you create or adopt are accessible.
  • Avoid Using Tables for Layout: Do not use tables to create your email layout, as this can cause navigation issues for assistive technology. 
  • Conduct an Accessibility Check: Before sending an email, conduct an accessibility check to identify potential accessibility issues. 

Email Accessibility Resources:

Email Marketing Platforms

Social Media Accessibility

Given its broad reach, ensuring your social media content is accessible is crucial. If platform limitations prevent sharing accessible content, be prepared to offer the content in accessible alternatives. Follow these best practices to develop accessible content. 


  • Provide Contact Information: Contact information is crucial for your audience to contact you with questions or for support regarding your content.
  • Limit the use of emojis: Use emojis sparingly, as they can be disruptive for assistive technology users.
  • Use camelcase for hashtags: Capitalize the first letter of each word in hashtags for better readability (e.g., #SocialMediaAccessibility).
  • Write in plain language: Use clear and simple language to make your content easy to understand. 
  • Define Acronyms: Define acronyms the first time they are used, as not all members of your audience may understand them. 
  • Share the Content Across Multiple Platforms: Ensure your audience can access the same content on their preferred platform. For example, post social media content and repost it on your website or newsletter. This practice helps if certain features on social media are inaccessible, as providing the same content on different platforms increases its availability.


  • Write Descriptive Alternative Text for Images: Describe the purpose, intent, and other important details of the image for users who cannot view the image.
  • Provide Detailed Descriptions for Complex Images: For complex images (e.g., infographics, flyers) that cannot be fully described within the alternative text due to character limits, include detailed descriptions in the caption to provide additional context and information.
  • Avoid Flashing Images: Do not use images or graphics that flash or flicker.
  • Ensure Sufficient Color Contrast: Create images and graphics with sufficient contrast to be easily readable. 


  • Review Captions and Transcripts for Accuracy: Review and edit captions and transcripts for accuracy and error free. 
    • Caption or transcribe key audio information, including music and sound effects.
    • Pro-tip: Use auto-generated captions as a starting point, but always edit them for accuracy and accessibility. 
  • Add Voice-Over for Visual Content: For videos with no audio that convey information visually (e.g., video clips or images), include narration or a voice-over to describe the visual content.
    • Include descriptions of key visual elements in the video, such as on-screen text or essential visuals needed for understanding the content.
  • Use Text-to-Speech: This feature converts on-screen text into audio, allowing users with visual impairments or those unable to view the screen to understand the content. 
  • Ensure Sufficient Color Contrast for Text and Visuals: Text and visual elements edited onto a video should have sufficient contrast between the foreground and background to increase readability.

Training Resources

Platform Specific Guidance:





ACMM Goals and Milestones

The ACMM consists of 89 milestones organized under 7 goals. Further explanation for each goal/milestone is detailed in an Implementation Guide that will be shared with CCC Colleges and Districts that participate in the ACMM implementation.


Preparing for the ACMM: Steps for Colleges and Districts

Colleges and Districts with an interest in participating in the Accessibility Capability Maturity Model (ACMM) can engage in a variety of preparatory steps, even if the organization has not scheduled an ACMM training and assessment. Colleges and districts can build a solid foundation for a successful ACMM implementation by working on any of the items below. Organizations can either choose items that reinforce existing accessibility efforts or those that require improvement in their organization.

  1. Secure an Executive Sponsor for ACMM: This sponsor should be a Vice President or higher for single-college districts or a Vice Chancellor or higher for multi-college districts and will play a pivotal role in ensuring accessibility is an institutional priority. 
  2. Establish a Work Group/Committee/Task Force: Establish a committee of stakeholders from across the organization to begin accessibility planning efforts, discuss areas of greatest need, and strategize ACMM goals and milestones.
  3. Promote Accessible Document Training: The foundations of accessible digital content are consistent across all platforms. Encourage or require faculty and staff to register for WebAIM Accessible Document training. This training is paid for by the Accessibility Center and is available at no cost to the CCC.  
  4. Create a Web Inventory: Gather a list of all websites and pages under the organization's purview, including the main website, departmental pages, and other affiliated websites. The Pope Tech Website Scanning tool can help with this inventory and identify accessibility barriers. This tool is paid for by the Accessibility Center and is available at no cost to the CCC.  
  5. Collect ACRs/VPATs for Technology Purchases: Encourage or require purchase requestors to include an Accessibility Conformance Report (also known as an ACR or VPAT) with other pre-purchase documentation. This is an important first step in evaluating the accessibility of acquired technology products and services.
  6. Replicate Effective Processes In Other Areas: Identify successful accessibility efforts and extend them to other areas. For instance, if you have processes or procedures that are working well for online classes (such as implementing Universal Design for Learning, including accessibility statements, or selecting captioned videos), extend these processes to in-person classes. If there is one department that has robust processes for checking marketing materials for accessibility, replicate these in other departments, etc. 
  7. Address Accessibility Issues In Canvas: Instructors and support staff can quickly identify and remediate accessibility issues across one or several Canvas courses by using Pope Tech Dashboards for Canvas. Colleges and districts can install this tool in their Canvas instance and promote its use. This tool is paid for by the Accessibility Center and is available at no cost to the CCC. 
  8. Have Regular Conversations About Accessibility: Emphasize the crucial role of accessibility in larger conversations surrounding strategic planning, communications, technology acquisition and implementation, DEIA efforts, events, teaching best practices, and other relevant areas. 
  9. Contact Us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., if you have not already. 

Digital Content Accessibility Overview

Digital content accessibility refers to the design and creation of information, media, and communication shared online to ensure inclusivity and accessibility for individuals with disabilities. 

 Accessible digital content, including educational materials, such as syllabi, presentations, articles, assignments, lecture notes, video and audio content, and content within the Learning Management System (LMS) are crucial in ensuring equal learning opportunities and facilitating full engagement in the learning process. 

Document Accessibility

The majority of digital content, including word processing files, PDFs, presentations, forms, templates, and marketing materials, follow the same accessibility tenets. Learning the basics of accessible digital content creation can reduce barriers and remediation needs. Learn more about Document Accessibility.  

Canvas Accessibility

There are numerous resources available to the California Community Colleges (CCC) to ensure all content within the Canvas LMS is accessible. Learn more about Canvas Accessibility.  

Captions and Audio Descriptions

Accurate captions and transcripts for audio and video content, along with audio descriptions for visual elements, are essential for media accessibility. These elements benefit individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, those with visual impairments, and individuals who rely on written text for comprehension. Learn more about captions and audio descriptions

Other Digital Content 

Social Media Accessibility

Social media platforms are hubs for communication and audience engagement. However, inaccessible content like non-descriptive images or videos without captions creates barriers for individuals with disabilities, limiting their engagement and participation. Learn more about social media accessibility

Email Accessibility

Ensuring email accessibility is crucial because it significantly impacts how your audience interacts, understands, and engages with your content. Learn more about email accessibility