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Accessible communication

Are the websites and brochures we use accessible?
Is the language we use understandable?
What language options are available?
Do we communicate the accessibility of our facilities and services?
Do we communicate in alternative ways?
Do we communicate directly to target audiences?
Is information easy to find?

This page briefly explains the different aspects of accessibility in communication. Some examples of guidelines for accessible communication are also listed below, but these guidelines are not exhaustive. You can use the Communication Accessibility Checklist, for example, to help you.

Designing the layout

  • Fold clearly.
  • Use large font sizes and easy-to-read fonts.
  • Make sure there is sufficient contrast between the darkness of the text and the background colour.
  • An image in the background of the text is distracting: do not put an image in the background of the text. 

Understandable language and language options

  • Use simple and understandable language.
  • Provide information in several languages.
  • Where possible, provide information in plain language and sign language.

Present accessibility information

  • Tell people about the accessibility of your facilities and services. 
  • Review the facilities with accessibility guidelines before writing the information.
  • Use accessibility symbols to support your accessibility text. For example, you can download symbols from the Culture for All symbol bank.
  • You can also use photographs to support your text. For example, photographs of facilities are a good way to illustrate accessibility information.
  • Create a dedicated section on your website for accessibility information under the heading "Accessibility" or "Accessibility and accessibility". This section should be placed in an easy-to-find location such as the main menu.
  • Include the same accessibility information in your brochures as on your website.
  • Include information about services related to the programme, such as the subtitles available for a particular performance, in the text introducing the performance and in the performance calendar.

Make your website work

If the website is designed to be accessible, it can also be easily accessed by people using keyboards and assistive technologies such as screen readers.

  • Many cultural operators are subject to the law on accessibility of digital services.

    The requirements of the law:

    1. online services (e.g. websites) must comply with WCAG 2.1 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1) at levels A and AA.

    2. the accessibility of the web service must be assessed and an accessibility report must be published.

    3. Provide an electronic channel for users to provide accessibility feedback. Feedback must be responded to within 14 days. For more information, see the requirements of the Digital Services Act (go to accessibility requirements.fi)
  • Even if your organisation is not covered by the Act, it is still important to follow the WCAG guidelines on your website.
  • It is worth commissioning an accessibility assessment for your website by an external expert. In addition, usability testing of the service by people with different levels of disability will improve the accessibility of the website.
  • Create a logical and coherent structure for the website. Make it easy to find information, for example through clear headings.
  • Create clear subheadings in the texts on the website. Label the headings you use as headings and define their hierarchies correctly. In general, it is possible to label headings and their hierarchy on a website (e.g. Heading 1, Heading 2 or Heading 1 (H1), Heading 2 (H2), etc.).
  • Clearly name the links so that the user knows where they lead. For example, "read more" does not tell you where the link takes you. For example, the link should tell you if it opens a file, takes you to a form or a video, or takes you to another site when you click on it. A good link text is, for example, the title of the page it opens. Examples of good links can be found on this page. 
  • Preferably, publish all content as a standard web page, i.e. in HTML format. For example, a PDF or other attachment may not be accessible to all users.

Alternatives for different senses

  • Use a variety of presentation methods, including auditory, visual and tactile.
  • Where possible, provide subtitling, captioning and/or sign language interpretation for videos. Remember also that the original language of the videos may be sign language.
  • Discuss the need for braille with the target audience.

Target your message

  • Work with the target group to plan your communication.
  • Find out how your message will best reach your target audience.
  • Refocus and adapt your communication to reach new audiences.
  • Involve different communities in your information and invitation lists, including organisations and representatives of different minorities.

Ask for feedback

  • Ask customers and stakeholders for feedback on your communications. Offer a variety of ways to give feedback, such as face-to-face or by phone, writing an anonymous form, email, etc.

Get trained

  • It is important for communicators to train and acquire more knowledge about accessible communication.
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