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Guide to Creating Accessible Graphics

As a vibrant, creative community where in-depth knowledge grows from open-minded engagement, questioning boundaries, and inspiring possibility, we encourage artistry and creativity in all endeavors.

However, once a graphic is to be used in digital format other than an online portfolio, the following guidelines apply.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 508, WCAG 2.2, as well as the Purchase College EITA Policy, all content must be accessible.

Avoid text in graphics.* Text in graphics is not accessible to visually impaired individuals, creating a barrier to the information.

  • Screen reading software won’t announce it.
  • The text becomes pixelated when assistive devices are used to zoom in, making it hard to read.

That said, you may have a highly stylized graphic for a flyer or poster and an amended graphic for online use.

Download the cheat sheet: Guide to Creating Accessible Graphics (last updated 2024-01-05).

*Logos may have text but alternative text is required when using in digital format.

For Broadcast Emails:

  • Separate the text from the graphic. Add the text to the body of the broadcast email.

  • If the text cannot be separated from the graphic without a significant loss of integrity, repeat all of the text below the graphic in the body of the broadcast email.

Note: Do not place the repeated text as alternative text. The intended use of the alternative text field is to describe the graphic for visually impaired individuals. In addition, the screen reader will truncate excessive text.

For the Purchase College Calendar:

  • Separate the text from the graphic and add the event details to the specific fields for date, time, location, contact information, etc., in the CMS (content management system).

  • Since the graphic will be sized to 300 pixels in width by the CMS, you are strongly encouraged to separate the text from the graphic or create an amended graphic for the Purchase College calendar. The text will become too small to read even for those without visual impairments.

Are QR Codes accessible?

Purchase College strongly discourages the use of QR codes in graphics and as stand-alone images. They are not accessible. They, along with shortened urls, also present a security risk because the destination may not be clear to the viewer.

All content posted on behalf of Purchase College must be accessible.

This means that the guidelines outlined here and in all Purchase College training sessions
also apply to external websites and social media platforms. 

last updated 2024-01-05.