How can we update our written materials (forms, brochures, etc.) to be more accessible for survivors with disabilities?
Answer: Center on Victimization and Safety at the Vera Institute of Justice offers these suggestions:
Meaningfully engaging people with disabilities in the movement to end violence against people with disabilities requires that information be presented in an accessible format and in plain language. Everything from the weight of paper to the size of font can affect the accessibility of information. Additionally, delivering concepts and information in the simplest possible way can ensure that everyone can fully engage with your materials.
Access for print and electronic resources involves many design considerations, such as font choice (sans serif) and size (14 point+), color choice and contrast, and the type of graphic elements and how they are used. Additional access considerations for electronic materials entails captioning for audio and video media, including alternative text for photos, and providing website accessibility certification.
Another important feature of accessible materials is writing in plain language. Some tips to write in plain language include:
- Use common words;
- Define any words that may be unfamiliar to readers;
- Avoid or explain acronyms, jargon, and idioms; and
- Write in short sentences that convey one idea.
There are a host of resources that anti-violence and disability organizations can use to ensure that their materials, both print and electronic, are accessible. First, explore the End Abuse of People with Disabilities website for information on ensuring that your materials and events are accessible so that everyone working to end violence against people with disabilities can access them. Then check out these additional resources: A Guide for Making Easy Read Information to learn about creating Easy Read documents and Making Written Information Easier to Understand for People with Learning Disabilities to learn about making your written materials accessible.