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Emails

1

Emails are a big part of how organisations communicate and work. We must make sure they are accessible so that everyone can understand them.


We heard from self-advocates that emails are only sometimes the best way to contact them. So it is important to check with the person you are getting in touch with to find out what they prefer. 


We also heard that emails are often too long, in a small font, and it is not always clear what the emails are asking. Lots of times supporters or families are not CC’d so a person does not get support to read the email.

2

Always write in plain language.

 

 Use a large font size and do not use acronyms, abbreviations and jargon. 

3

Do not use short-hand or acronyms.

 

Acronyms often don’t make sense. This includes acronyms organisations use  or shorthand that we use in emails like COB instead of  ‘Close of Business’.

 

Always explain names in full and say what you mean for example - ‘by 5pm’

4

Cut down long email chains or discussions.

 

When forwarding a chain of emails, include a summary of the conversation to help people understand the background and why you are including them.

Some email providers use Artificial Intelligence to do this automatically now.  

 

Be aware that emails are often shown in reverse order and it is difficult to follow who is saying what

5

Use headings or bold text.
 

 They help to break up long emails and help people understand the most important information.

6

Make the subject line short, clear and relevant.

7

Do not use too much formatting.

 

A clear black sans serif font is best. Italics are hard to rea. 

 

If you want to highlight the main information for people who use screen readers, use a sub-heading that says ‘important’ or consider deleting unnecessary information.

8

Use lists.

Lists are a really useful way to break down a lot of information into small manageable chunks, especially for actions or tasks to complete.

9

Use link text.

Long hyperlinks can be confusing so use link text to explain where the web address goes to.  For example “Click here to go to the survey”

10

Involve support people or personal assistants.

 

Always include support people in CC of the address line.

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