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Accessibility checklist

Last updated 13 Sep 2023. To help us improve our advice and recommendations, please email

Insights - Accessibility 

A checklist of best practices Insights uses to produce and deliver learning content across various touchpoints. By making this freely available we hope you’ll hold us accountable to these standards and use them yourself to produce more inclusive and effective experiences for your customers and learners.

When writing learning content or presentation notes, you should:

  • Use straightforward language which avoids figures of speech, idioms and complicated metaphors
  • Use short sentences
  • Provide step-by-step instructions to guide learners through the learning process
  • Break down complicated concepts into simpler, bite-sized pieces, using examples and analogies to illustrate more complicated ideas
  • When using analogies and metaphors, ensure they'll be broadly understood by people from a variety of different backgrounds
  • Use real-life examples - relate your content to situations people recognise or can connect with
  • Use a conversational tone to make the content more approachable and understandable
  • Encourage participation with quizzes, polls, or scenarios so people find it easier to engage whilst increasing understanding
  • Offer practical tips that people can apply in their daily lives or roles to make content more actionable and relevant
  • Include opportunities for reflection and self-assessment where learners are able to review their progress
  • Provide a written overview of the training at the start and at the beginning of each section
  • Use a variety of media formats such as text, audio, video, or interactive modules - always consider the unique needs of your audience when deciding on the best formats to use and provide descriptive alternate text, captions or transcripts where applicable

When planning or facilitating a workshop or learning session, you should:

  • Ask every attendee what their needs are to participate fully on the day after giving them an idea of what to expect from your experience - view our sample needs capture form
  • Ask those with needs if they would like you to check in with them privately and how often throughout the allotted time
  • Ensure people with unique needs aren’t singled out and any accommodation you make for them feels like a natural and intended part of the learning activities
  • Ask for volunteers, don't pick people at random, and encourage similar behaviour in groups
  • Agree ground rules with attendees around how they can all contribute in a way that makes everyone feel comfortable and equal
  • Ask any attendees how to pronounce their name if unsure and write it down phonetically to help you remember
  • Avoid disclosing anyone else's needs to other attendees and foster a supportive and non-judgmental environment for people to participate and communicate in their preferred ways
  • Consider providing time for people to reflect on their own or discuss things in pairs or small groups before asking for a response
  • Make sure you clearly communicate where, when and how to attend the workshop and who the main people to contact are
  • Ensure all attendees are able to complete the Insights evaluator and make adequate support available to those that need help
  • Verbally describe imagery used for illustration purposes in detail when shown on slides or screens
  • Back up verbal instructions with written instructions
  • Offer regular breaks or movement opportunities and use smaller groups of people if completing group exercises to accommodate different attention spans
  • Provide opportunities for participants to provide feedback on accessibility post-workshop and make appropriate changes based on that feedback to improve future workshops


  • When providing food, gather attendee dietary requirements and allergy information, ensure your selected venue or caterer caters to these and label food appropriately on the day
  • Check all attendees are able to get to your venue via public transport or personal means and provide transport advice or support for those that need help
  • Ensure there is enough room to maneuver and perform activities for all attendees
  • Ensure all attendees can reach your workshop space without difficulty
  • Provide clear directions to your workshop space and/or place signs to direct people from the main venue entrances


  • Take frequent short breaks to avoid fatigue or eye strain
  • Ensure closed caption functionality is turned on if available

A mix of in-person and remote

  • Use markers to represent people attending remotely if moving to or standing in a designated area is part of an activity
  • Test technology in the venue or room with remote attendees prior to the session beginning
  • Give remote attendees a way to communicate in-room and regularly acknowledge their input alongside input from those in the room

When planning or facilitating for an audience with specific accessibility needs, you MIGHT:

​​​​​​​PLEASE NOTE: The most important thing you can do is open a dialogue with your attendees about their needs and what you can do to ensure they don't feel excluded - many will be comfortable being asked and used to sharing them for similar purposes. The advice here is a high-level guide for how you might approach addressing needs after you've captured them, but these must be tailored to your specific group of attendees, not adopted wholesale. Ultimately, individuals are in a far better position to describe what they need from you and what they already do for themselves on a day-to-day basis, not Insights.

  • Collaborate with local disability advocacy groups or organisations for guidance and feedback on best accessibility practices
  • Ask people with needs to bring along their own personal devices and provide materials, including profiles and slide decks, in advance and in the correct format

For people with dyslexia or difficulty reading

  • Check if the person has a personal colour filter, get some understanding of how it works and ensure they bring it with them if needed
  • When using a colour filter, advise individuals that it may make some graphics that show text on block colour (e.g. the team wheel) harder to read so they can attempt to read them without their filter
  • Suggest reading the PDF version of the profile on a personal device so narration or screen reader software can be used
  • Allow for more reading time when reading is part of the required activities
  • Give advanced notice of how much reading may be expected of each attendee during the various activities

For people with colour vision deficiency or colour blindness

  • Ensure any product colours associated with different communication styles or meaning are clearly labelled with text
  • Avoid using colour solely to convey meaning

For people with sensory or concentration impairments

  • Provide a quiet and sensory-friendly space and allow people to retreat there if they experience sensory overload
  • Provide visual schedules or agendas to help people with time management and task organisation
  • Clearly outline expectations and provide simple instructions
  • Allow people time to settle in new spaces
  • Minimise excessive noise, bright lights and other things that may cause sensory discomfort or distract

For people with motor/physical and coordination impairments

  • Check attendees have alternatives to writing like word processors or dictaphone software when writing is part of an exercise and they are unable to write as requested
  • Check attendees have sloped, non-slip surfaces when marking or drawing on paper is part of an exercise and can bring them along if they require them
  • Provide assistance or designated pathways to your workshop space when facilitating in-person
  • Arrange seating to accommodate people using wheelchairs or mobility aids when facilitating in-person
  • Consider providing adjustable tables or workstations to accommodate different needs when facilitating in-person
  • Use markers to represent people in place of anyone moving to or standing in a designated area is part of an activity

For people with vision impairments

  • Allow them to privately pick a good spot in the room where slides and presenters may be more visible to them
  • Provide workshop materials in large print, Braille, or digital formats to be used on personal devices with narration or screen reader software
  • Use higher contrast (7:1) and larger fonts in visual materials and slides
  • Use verbal descriptions when presenting visuals or images
  • Use touch where possible to enhance understanding

For people with hearing impairments

  • Make sure the facilitator is clearly visible and their mouth is not obscured so lip reading is possible
  • Provide sign language interpreters for anyone who uses sign language and allow extra time in activities to communicate
  • Use captioning or transcription for presentations and/or videos
  • Use visual aids and written instructions to supplement verbal communication
  • Check the lighting and acoustics of the venue or room are suitable when facilitating in-person

For people with speech or language impairments

For people with cognitive impairments

  • Use clear and concise language, avoiding jargon or complex terminology
  • Use written materials and visual aids to enhance understanding
  • Break down information into smaller, more manageable chunks
  • Allow extra time for people to process information and provide regular opportunities for questions, repetition or clarification

When enrolling others into self-led learning, you should:

  • Ensure the pacing of the learning and the time given to complete modules is generous and tailored to the needs of your audience
  • Give people clear notice of what's expected of them and the activities you want them to complete
  • Provide alternative input or feedback methods or direct support time for anyone who may need it

When producing documents and physical materials, you should:

  • Use a minimum font size of 12pt for body copy and be consistent with text and heading styles
  • Avoid italics, underlining, all-caps and decorative typefaces
  • Use bold sparingly for headings and emphasis only
  • Avoid using lighter font weights - you can use them sparingly, but not for large bodies of text
  • Use sentence case and avoid block capitals
  • Ensure your colours contrast well and are legible for those with visual impairments, especially when printed
  • Avoid conveying meaning purely through colour - use labels or accompanying visuals
  • Mostly use dark text on light backgrounds and, if using lighter text on coloured or dark backgrounds, remember it’s difficult to print dense colour ink and text can appear smaller
  • Use simple layouts to avoid information overload and make it easy for people to find what they’re looking for
  • Consistently display page headings and page numbers in the same place
  • Clearly define sections and chapters and place adequate space between columns
  • Use short lines of text, less than 20 words per line as a guide
  • Ensure you don’t hyphenate words onto the next line
  • Keep paragraphs short and use line spacing between
  • Use images to break up large areas of content, and when using photos of people, ensure that they show a diverse range of people from different backgrounds
  • Include a contents page for longer documents
  • Ensure images that aren't decorative have descriptive captions or alternative text
  • Avoid placing text over illustrations, photographs or models
  • When writing documents, once exported or saved, ensure screen readers (like NVDA) read your document in the correct order

When creating presentations or slide decks, you should:

  • Use C.R.A.P principles as a guide - think about contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity
  • Use different font style/weights and good contrasting colours for backgrounds and elements
  • Use consistent colour schemes, fonts and elements throughout
  • Ensure you align elements in a sensible way, ideally use gridlines
  • Related elements to a theme or concept, like accompanying images and text, should be in close proximity
  • Primarily use sans serif typefaces e.g. Arial, with a minimum font size of 18pt or above
  • Use bold sparingly for headings and emphasis only
  • Avoid italics, underlining, all-caps and decorative typefaces
  • Ensure your colours contrast well and are more legible for those with visual impairments
  • Avoid communicating anything solely through colour - clearly label colours that have meanings or a purpose
  • Ensure photos and illustrations used show a diverse range of people from different backgrounds
  • Limit the amount of information on each slide, avoid showing data tables or long lists and focus on key information
  • Once exported or saved, ensure screen readers (like NVDA) read your deck in the correct order

When building online learning modules, you should:

  • Complete contrast checks on your colour palette so that any icons or text contrasts on their backgrounds at a ratio of at least 4.5:1
  • Ensure interactive areas like buttons and links are clearly identifiable and recognisable, including keeping navigation buttons or icons consistent throughout
  • Include images, illustrations, animations that show diverse groups of people from different backgrounds
  • Ensure all images that aren’t decorative have alternative text and that alternative text includes any text displayed on the image
  • Not fill pages with text and consider that translated text can take up significant extra space
  • Structure each page with a linear layout that can also be navigated using a keyboard
  • Include a navigation screen
  • Segment learning into small topics with clear breaks between them
  • Include narration where possible and ensure that it’s synchronised with what's on screen
  • Avoid drag and drop interactions and excessive screen movement
  • Include knowledge checks and assessments and provide answer feedback

When creating or using video content, you should:

  • Avoid seizure triggers
  • Add subtitles or provide a transcript to accompany your video if it contains speech or narration
  • When embedding your video, make sure they don’t autoplay and can be paused

When designing digital experiences, you should:

  • Ensure changes made to areas to indicate interaction or change of state are visually communicated with more than a colour change
  • Ensure interactive areas like buttons and links are clearly identifiable and recognisable
  • Use a base font size of at least 16px for body text
  • Complete contrast checks on your colour palette so that any icons or text contrasts on their backgrounds at a ratio of at least 4.5:1
  • Ensure related elements and information are placed in good proximity to each other for users who need to zoom
  • Check any user interface animation doesn’t flash repeatedly and is relatively subtle
  • Ensure that interactive areas are large enough - or have containers large enough - to be easily hit with a mouse pointer or a thumb and are spaced well to avoid accidental wrong selections (guidelines for minimum touch targets average around 48px)
  • Identify the best breakpoints to scale content in order to maintain legibility, rather than relying on common screen sizes
  • Provide descriptions of complex images or illustrations like graphs and charts
  • Avoid using acronyms and use proper nouns instead of pronouns when writing microcopy, like headings, labels and button text
  • Structure information and navigation in a way that is easy to understand and clearly labelled
  • Include images, illustrations, animations that show diverse groups of people from different backgrounds
  • Not fill pages with text and consider that translated text can take up significant extra space
  • Set a maximum width on long form content to show around 10 - 12 words per line so that text isn’t difficult to read
  • Use appropriate heading sizes to create structure and have one main heading per section or page

When developing and testing digital experiences, you should:

  • Ensure all images that aren’t decorative have alternative text and that alternative text includes any text displayed on the image
  • Check that any action you can complete with a mouse can also be completed using a keyboard and that interactive areas are selected in the correct order and clearly highlighted when doing so
  • Ensure that content is found and read in the correct order by screenreader software like Speechify, JAWS or NVDA
  • Check that content scales effectively and isn’t obscured when text sizes are increased by at least 200% on different browsers and devices
  • Remove any unintentional horizontal scrolling on small screen sizes
  • Test manually as automated accessibility tests can only pick up on around 30% of known issues